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Why Is The U.S. Sending Its Emergency Oil Reserves To China?

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More Russian men look to avoid military service

STORY: Danila Davydov said he left Russia within weeks of the Kremlin sending troops into Ukraine because he feared having to fight in a war he doesn’t support.The 22-year-old left St. Petersburg and is now working in Kazakhstan.”We feared President Putin would declare a mobilization and then everyone, young and old, would be called up to the army. I absolutely didn’t want to go and fight.”Davydov is among what some lawyers and rights advocates say is an increased number of young Russian men looking to avoid the country’s mandatory military service since the conflict with Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special military operation”, started in late February.That is despite the risk of facing fines or up to two years in prison.In Russia, military service is mandatory for young men aged 18 to 27. Reuters spoke to seven men seeking to avoid signing up.”At first I avoided the military commission but, in the end, they kept getting hold of me. I turned to lawyers and, with their help, I managed to put off the moment when they’d take me into the army indefinitely.”The Kremlin referred questions about draft avoidance to the defense ministry, which did not respond to a request for comment.Ukraine and its Western backers see Moscow’s actions, currently focused on taking territory in eastern Ukraine, as an imperial-style land-grab.Russian President Vladimir Putin is betting on a huge professional army that the West says has sustained significant losses in the war.If the army cannot recruit enough contract soldiers, Putin’s options would include using conscripts, mobilizing Russian society or scaling back his ambition.Although Putin has repeatedly said conscripts should not fight the Ukraine conflict, the defense ministry in early March said some already had.There are also signs that Russia is looking for more men to fight.In May, Putin signed a law that removed the upper age limit of 40 for people wanting to enlist in the Russian military.

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