Putin promises Russians a prominent career in the government if they join the army - ISW

Lilia RagutskaNews
Putin meets with "veterans" of the war with Ukraine. Source: Russian media

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has decided to take a new step in the hope of appeasing Russian military personnel and supporters of the war against Ukraine inside Russia. He is preparing a group of trusted "veterans" with ties to the Kremlin who will be allowed to join the civil service.

In this way, the Russian authorities are trying to encourage Russians to participate in the war, presenting it as a path to a career in the Russian government. The details were revealed in a new article by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Analysts came to the conclusion that Putin was preparing a group of trusted "veterans" for the civil service after a staged meeting between the dictator and a so-called "volunteer" and former Krasnodar mayor Yevgeny Pervyshev on June 14. This meeting was part of Putin's "Time of Heroes" (Vremya Geroyev) initiative. Talking to the dictator, Pervyshev told him that he had gone to war voluntarily despite the fact that he had previously held a public office. He added that the occupiers participating in the Time of Heroes initiative would allegedly make excellent government officials.

Answering Putin's question, Pervyshov said that he is a member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and was previously the mayor of Krasnodar.

"Putin expressed (presumably fake) surprise at Pervyshov's political career and ended the conversation by telling Pervyshov that he had an unspecified 'offer' for him," the ISW report said.

At the front, according to one of the Kremlin-linked "military commanders," Pervyshov was part of the GROM Kaskad UAV brigade, formed in 2017 in the so-called "DPR." And some Russian political observers reminded that Pervyshov was involved in a corruption case, so he went to war most likely trying to avoid responsibility for his actions.

"The Time of Heroes initiative reportedly started training veterans of the Russian war in Ukraine in April 2024 to take on roles in the Russian government, and Pervyshov's show is likely a part of the Kremlin's ongoing efforts to appease the ever-growing number of Russian veterans by appointing servicemen who fought in Ukraine to prominent positions in the civil service, presenting participation in the war as a path to a career in the Russian government," ISW said in its article.

The analysts also noted that the aforementioned UAV unit (not a brigade at the time, but a GROM Kaskad battalion) was created in 2017, supervised by former United Russia party secretary Andrey Turchak and State Duma deputy Dmitry Sablin. In the fall of 2022, they also recruited Russian officials and United Russia party members to this unit, which operated in the Luhansk region.

However, according to ISW, Turchak managed to recruit only seven Russian officials.

"Russian insider sources have previously claimed that Putin entrusted Turchak with the task of inviting veterans to run for the Russian presidency and to take up positions in the Russian State Duma, but Turchak reportedly failed to achieve this goal because local figures allegedly did not give up their positions in local governments that Turchak was supposed to give to Russian veterans. Putin is likely to continue to pursue this goal through the Time of Heroes initiative even after Turchak's demotion," the analysts concluded.

Earlier, ISW said that Putin sees the victory in Ukraine as the beginning of a war with NATO . He is preparing for it by imitating his interest in peace talks with Ukraine while maintaining his desire for the complete destruction of Ukrainian statehood.

It was also reported that the new Defense Minister, Andrey Belousov, held a closed meeting with the "military commissars." Analysts are convinced that the meeting was part of the Kremlin's efforts to revive the department's reputation.

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