The U.S. Should Welcome Russians Who Don’t Want To Fight Putin’s War

To avoid Russian military conscription in the war against Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has asked that all Russians be granted refugee status by the United States. The U.S. can undermine Russia’s invasion by changing its immigration policy. This would raise the stakes for the Russian embargo. It’s a no-brainer—a policy that wouldn’t require American boots on the ground in Ukraine or any additional risk of nuclear escalation.

Russia’s military effort is already being hampered due to a shortage of manpower. Kamil Galeev is a Wilson Center scholar. notesThe days when Russia had seemingly unlimited armies are long gone. Today, the average Russian is 40 years old. In 1914 it was only 16 years. Even though the Russian military must replace 1,000 soldiers who were killed each day in Ukraine, it faces pervasive challenges. draft-dodgingConscripts are becoming more numerous and it is increasing ReliantOn foreign auxiliaries in Syria and Chechnya.

Even though the Russian army has run out of soldiers, its military still maintains an impressive strength. ReservierenAbout 2 million former conscripts. The men in question are not properly trained. Calling them into active duty would demonstrate desperation. But even replacements with demoralized skills would only be one more step to Russian occupation. It would free up troops that can go on further offensives, prolonging war and allowing for greater troop strength.

However, if these conscripts can be persuaded by the United States to evade the Russian draft and migrate to America, this would severely limit Russia’s capability to wage war. In terms of future military capabilities, it is not much different between 1,000 casualties from Javelin rockets fired outside Kyiv and 1000 draft-dodgers looking for refuge in other countries. 

The demand from Russia for American entry is unmet. There are approximately 250,000 Russians ApplyOnly about 2 per cent of applicants win a visa through the U.S. diversity Visa lottery every year. This includes spouses and their children. More than half a billion Russians apply each year to the U.S. diversity visa lottery to flee Putin’s rule and travel to America. These are the applicants SkewYoung, entrepreneurial and anti-Putin. They should be allowed to come to America, not to fight against Ukrainians.

There is precedent for such a move—the U.S. once used immigration policy as a Cold War–era tool to undermine the communist revolution in Cuba. The 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act granted green cards to all immigrants who had made it into America. Nearly 1.3 million Cuban Americans who eventually became citizens ImmigratedThey were an ever-present thorn in Castro’s side.

This is the Beringstrait variant of the old “wet feet, dry feet” Cuba policy. All Russians who arrive on American soil must be eligible for refugee status. The potential Russian consscript pool would shrink if we welcomed a large number of Russian refugees. brain drainPutin will need the help of highly skilled Russian workers, mostly from the tech sector. They are needed to rebuild his bankrupt economy, collapsed banking system and Russia-specific websites.

Cuba’s recent use of non-martial weapons of war as an effective tool for immigration policy is a good example. The first act of immigration of the Continental Congress was, however, an offer of amnesty for Hessian mercenaries who fought in the Revolutionary War for Great Britain. Congress was established in August 1776. resolved that “such foreigners…would chuse [sic]Acceptance of liberty, safety, and a communion of good laws in a country that many of their close friends and family are settled is better than continuing to be exposed to the dangers and toils of long, bloody war. Congress not only offered amnesty to Hessian deserters but also proffered land—50 acres for conscripts and up to 1,000 acres for officers.

As many as 6,000 Hessians—or one-fifth of the 30,000 German troops sent by the British—ultimately deserted, many joining the already substantial German-American immigrant communities in Pennsylvania. To give you an example, the addition of 6,000 men to the colonial population was 0.24 percent. For the U.S. to achieve a comparable ratio, it would have to receive approximately 800,000.

Without firing a single shot, America could defeat Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine through smart immigration policies. While it would benefit Ukraine, the U.S. could also help reduce deaths caused by young Russians being forced to serve in unjust wars. One less conscript is pushing for Kyiv from every young Russian who works in a Yonkers mechanic shop or in a Philadelphia grocery store.