MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko has shared his thoughts on the efforts some Russian citizens are taking in order to avoid being drafted into the military.
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine dates back to February 2022 when Russian forces invaded the neighboring country.
A number of combat sports athletes have taken part in the fighting, and just recently Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a draft to mobilize more soldiers in an effort to bolster the invading forces.
According to Bloomberg, roughly 400,000 Russian citizens elected to leave the country following the announcement of the draft in late September.
The country’s defense minister Sergei Shogu claims that the draft has already resulted in an additional 200,000 conscripted forces, but some draft-eligible Russians have started taking extreme measures such as breaking their own limbs to avoid joining the military.
Fedor Reacts To Trend With “Shock”
“There are different [reactions] in my environment, people have different thoughts, questions arise,” Emelianenko said. “But for me personally, it was a great discovery and a slight shock when you read the news in our country, what is happening in the military registration and enlistment offices and that people are fleeing the draft.”
“The Last Emperor” previously served in the Russian military himself and is a close friend of the country’s president.
Emelianenko is currently on a two-fight win streak and has been competing for Bellator since 2017. The former Pride champion most recently stopped Tim Johnson in October 2021 after knocking out Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in 2019.
The 46-year-old’s last loss was a 35-second knockout to Ryan Bader in a bid for the Bellator heavyweight title, and Emelianenko has indicated he’d be open to a rematch with Bader as a possible retirement fight.
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