BBC reported on September 14, 2022 that “the Russian military is deploying so-called barrier troops to prevent its own units from fleeing.”

Putin was getting reports about troop shortage. He kept dismissing these as Western Propaganda. But the messages were persistent. He supplemented the fighting forces with the convicts languishing in prisons, who had been pardoned as they agreed to fight the Ukrainians. Putin had promised that the pay of the sons shall be delivered to their mothers. They are the cause of the shortfall, said Kuzhugetovich Shoigu, Putin’s defence minister. They have shown to our troops that the soldiers can do something that is more profitable than the military pay. Convoys of vehicles are leaving the battlefields. These are not deserters, these are soldiers driving looted vans loaded with looted stuff. The serrvicemen driving these vehicles take permission from their commanders to visit their mothers to gift them all the stuff. That is when Putin got the idea of barrier troops.

Barrier troops were deployed for preventing Russian soldiers to leave the battlefield under any pretext including the need to deliver looted gifts to the mothers. Every Russian commander was now asking for barrier troops to guard not only every road but also every footpath and cattle track that led towards Russia from the frontline. There were many volunteers for the job. Any policemen in India knows that being posted at a barrier is very lucrative. For the Russians, the additional advantage was that barriers were far away from the Ukrainian shells that kept falling on the frontline. The barrier soldiers were getting a share of the loot from the soldiers going into Russia to visit their mothers. As the shares piled up, the barrier soldiers made a request for leave to visit their own mothers. That was not a problem; every soldier on the battlefront was willing to work on the barriers. Frontlines were thinning but mothers cannot be ignored particularly when gifts for them were piling up.

Putin was not the only one getting these reports; Zelensky too was getting these. His advisors told him that in times of difficulties, mothers’ blessings do help. If he could get the blessings of all those Russian mothers, that will help in getting back some of the areas of Mother Ukraine that Putin had occupied during his Special Military Operation. It was worth trying particularly because the reports talked of thinning Russian troops on the frontline. Now, the media is falsely labelling it as a counter-offensive by Zelensky, In fact, it was a humanitarian mission. Before Ukrainian soldiers moved in, scouts came under the flag of peace. They informed the Russian soldiers that Zelensky desires to send his soldiers to relieve them so that they could fulfil their filial duties. The Russians were overwhelmed with gratitude and the date and time of arrival of the relieving squad and other operational details were decided. The Russian collected their loot and loaded them on the vehicles and waited, the size of looted vehicles assigned to each Russian being strictly according to rank.

The Ukrainians’ approach was heralded by buglers to avoid any misunderstanding and this had been already decided in the parleys with the scouts. As the buglers approached, the Russians revved their loaded vehicles and sped towards the barriers. The cuts for the soldiers at the barriers were alredy packed separately and thrown out as the vehicles zoomed past the barriers. The barrier soldiers, in turn, had kept their looted vehicles ready and loaded the packages. As soon as the last frontline vehicle had passed, the barrier soldiers also zoomed their vehicles into Russia.

Zelensky and his Western friends are now indulging in propaganda that this orderly transition of frontline soldiers from Russian to Ukrianian was a victory for Ukraine. It is sad that even when the West undertakes a humanitarian mission, it calls the outcome a victory. No shots were fired, there was no chaos. Zelensky claims that Russians ran away leaving behind their weapons and ammunition stocks. Perhaps Zelensky was a test tube baby otherwise he would know that you load yourself with gifts, not arms and ammunition when you visit your mother. Propaganda is a compulsion for the adversaries in a war. Yet, Zelensky has laid the foundations of cordial relations between Ukrainian and Russian soldiers. The last we heard was that the dutiful sons had described Ukraine in such glowing terms to their mothers that the old ladies have sent letters of thanks and blessings to Putin for sending their sons into Ukraine describing how the sons have become even more dutiful after serving in this Special Military Operation. Meanwhile Putin is considering putting up a lot of barriers within Russia so that the post-war ennui of his soldiers can be ameliorated. This will ensure a continuous supply of gifts for their mothers even after the war is over.

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