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A group of Russians walk into Georgia after crossing the Verkhny Lars border on September 27. Long lines of vehicles formed at the border crossing after Moscow announced a partial military mobilisation. Photo: AP

Letters | Russian exodus shows ordinary people are fed up with ‘war of elites’ in Ukraine

  • Readers argue that wars are the result of an elite agenda, and question the dehumanisation of migrants and of the lives lost in long drawn-out wars or famines
Ukraine war
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Russians have been fleeing their country since President Vladimir Putin announced a “ partial mobilisation” order amid major setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine (“Ukraine war: Nearly 200,000 Russians flee call-up to neighbouring countries”, September 28).
According to Putin’s announcement, only those with prior combat or specialised military experience would be called up. But as reports surfaced of the wrong Russians being mobilised, including the sick and elderly, Putin has admitted that mistakes were made in the process.

The Russian exodus is a sign that the war is a focus only among the elite, a product of the conflict between the leadership in Russia and in the West, particularly Nato. Ordinary Russians care more about their livelihoods and rights.

But since the war started in February, both of these have been adversely affected. After Putin launched his “ special military operation”, the West imposed heavy sanctions on Russia, putting Russian livelihoods at risk. Now, with the announcement of partial mobilisation and the mistakes made, ordinary Russians’ rights have been violated.

Throughout history, the elite have used propaganda to convince the grass roots that the wars they fight are a fight for the people. In reality, no war is actually fought for the people. Leaders are simply manipulating people to achieve personal political glory.

It’s time to end this needless war and reach for peaceful solutions to the conflict between Russia and the West that has been affecting the world for decades. People, not just Russians, want to get on with their lives.

Lew Guan Xi, Selangor, Malaysia

Migrants are people too

The migrants whom some American conservatives are exploiting in their disgraceful political games (“Florida governor sent 50 migrants to affluent Martha’s Vineyard by plane in ‘cruel’ anti-liberal stunt”, September 15) are people – human beings like the rest of us – who can feel and be hurt.

How is it that some people can be treated by a large portion of an otherwise free, democratic and relatively civilised society as though they’re disposable and, by extension, as though their suffering is somehow less worthy of concern?

Similarly, there is an inhumane devaluation of the daily civilian lives lost in long drawn-out wars and famine-stricken nations. The worth of these lives is seemingly measured by the sheer scale of loss and/or how protracted their suffering is – often, they merit meagre column inches on the back pages of the daily newspapers in developed countries.

Frank Sterle Jnr, British Columbia, Canada