Mothballed tanks and white-haired recruits: not exactly a war for young people!

(To David Rossi)

The war is taking a - so to speak - vintage turn. A few days ago the news of an exhibition tank, a Soviet T-62, removed from the museum in Kharkiv to be used, we believe for deterrent purposes only, by some Ukrainian paramilitaries. Chances are he has never fired a shot ...

A blow, however, was taken yesterday to those who, like me, follow the events of the war very closely: we witnessed the passage of a freight train loaded with T-62, moved from Rostov on Don to the Ukrainian territory occupied by the Russians in the Zaporizia oblast. Some observers, from the parts of Melitopol, have reported of reinforcements ... in the good, done to the bodywork, for what remains an old iron but which, evidently, the Russians need in this phase in which their industries do not receive components for wagons , so to speak, a little cooler. Personally, when I received the news I thought that the train would unload these wagons, of which Russia has a large stock to use for the "second mobilization", around the Donbass, to help the local militiamen. Instead, they evidently need more in Moscow than the so-called people's republics.

In addition to wagons, the Russian forces lack personnel, for which the Kremlin, saying it wants to follow "modern trends", has requested the recruitment of over forty-year-old personnel, who cannot be called up for now. Thus, on May 25 the State Duma passed a law that abolishes the age limit for concluding the first military service contract. Now absolutely anyone can join the Russian military, regardless of age.

Evidently, Putin and Shoigu, who are almost 140 years old and two, believe it is easier to contract veterans of the wars in Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria, rather than relying on new recruits, also considering the reluctance of young Russians to join the army , manifested through arson attacks and bombs against the military enlistment offices themselves.

In short, to those who seemed to be an "old-fashioned" war, similar more to the two world wars than to Western operations in the Middle East, it will now seem like a war for old men.