“Russian Spring 2022 Recruitment Cycle: Putin’s Camouflaged Referendum?”, Joris Van Bladel (Egmont, Belgium)

In May 2022, Egmont published the Paper 116 entitled The Russian Soldiers’ Question Revisited, in which they suggested, “The current spring recruitment cycle (1 April-15 July 2022) may be considered a more accurate indication of popular support for Putin’s war in Ukraine than the results of public opinion research as we know it. Therefore, the 2022 spring recruitment cycle may be regarded as a referendum on Russia’s war in Ukraine with the voenkomati as its voting stations.” Near the end of this recruitment period, it is time to return to this statement. How did the spring recruitment cycle go, and which conclusion can we draw from it? A critical review.

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