NewsWorldIn the recruitment offices of Moscow, resignation, fear and...

In the recruitment offices of Moscow, resignation, fear and anger – Le Monde


In Saint Petersburg (Russia), on September 5, 2022, the poster of a Russian soldier rewarded for his action in Ukraine with these words: “Glory to the heroes of Russia”. DMITRI LOVETSKY / AP On a corner of a Moscow sidewalk, two men chat happily, patting each other on the back. A small and a large, a leather jacket and a sports jacket. Ten minutes ago, they didn’t know each other; soon they will leave together for the Ukrainian front. “We are like that, in our country, warm, laughs Andreï, the little one. And then the proverb says it well, misery unites. In ten minutes, in front of the iron door of the recruitment office on Petchatnikov Street, the two had time to find a whole series of points in common: both are in their forties, have a large family, are addicted to cigarettes. . And both work in ventilation: Andrei runs a small business, fourteen employees; Anatoly, the tall one, is a technician. Above all, both are patriots, supporters of the “special operation” launched by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. They will go to fight with a clear conscience, if not with a completely light heart. “I prefer it to be me rather than my children in a few years, explains Anatoly, 47, who received his summons the day before, Wednesday September 21. I didn’t jump for joy, of course, but what should I do? Opposite, there are 200,000 Ukrainian soldiers, Arab and French mercenaries… Someone has to go there, despite the fear, despite our women who would like to hold us back. You, you will be cold this winter because of that stupid Biden… To each his own. » Close speech for Andreï, 41 years old. The war, since that is what it is all about, was “imposed on Russia by an aggressive West that was too benevolent towards Nazism”. “A lot of people run away from their responsibilities, leave the country, so someone has to go, even us. “If the television is lying, we’ll find out soon enough…” “Even us”, because the other common point of Andrei and Anatoly is that they don’t have the slightest combat experience. Both completed their military service more than two decades ago, in peacetime, and since then they have not seen the barrel of a Kalashnikov. The day before, Vladimir Putin and his Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, nevertheless assured that the mobilization concerned “in priority” men with combat experience or members of the active reserve, but also younger. “It’s not up to us to question their decisions,” argue Andreï and Anatoly, who will be enlisted as simple soldiers. Do they think, at least, that the army will be up to their determination? “The soldiers that we see on television are well equipped,” says Andreï. Afterwards, if the television is lying, we will find out soon enough…” You have 68.98% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.



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