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Russia's Wording On Ukraine Invasion Limits Its Coercive Powers, Says British Intelligence

By RFE/RL August 22, 2022

Russia may be hindering its ability to recruit and keep soldiers by insisting on calling its invasion of Ukraine a "special military operation" instead of officially designating it a war, Britain's Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence bulletin on August 22.

It says Russia appears to be increasingly struggling to motivate auxiliary forces who fight alongside regular troops in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, pointing to a reported case of insubordination in Luhansk, where earlier this month a military unit of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) reportedly refused to take part in fighting in the neighboring Donetsk region.

Despite being threatened and intimidated by senior commanders, the fighters said they were unwilling to fight in Donetsk, claiming they had fulfilled their duty in securing the LPR's control over all of the Luhansk region.

British intelligence said Moscow's powers in cases involving a refusal to fight are limited because it cannot apply the same legal coercion as in the case of an officially declared conflict.

In the absence of coercive means, the bulletin suggests, commanders are probably resorting to offering direct financial incentives to the irregular fighters.

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-recruiting-soldiers- ukraine-invasion/31999227.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.



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