Just pay Russian soldiers to surrender?

Ukraine is offering° Russian soldiers currently involved in the Russo-Ukrainian War° around $48,000 to throw down their weapons and surrender.

Bryan Caplan sees some issues° though:

  • The soldier has to somehow slip away from the Russian army.
  • They have to hope the Ukrainians don’t kill them (even after surrendering).
  • If Ukraine loses the war they will end up being charged with desertion by the Russians.
  • What if Ukraine wins the war but is so broke that they can’t pay the soldiers?
  • As part of a peace agreement they could be transferred back to Russia.

So he suggests a slight alteration:

The EU, in cooperation with Ukraine, offers $100,000 plus EU citizenship to any Russian deserter.

But won’t that be too expensive? Apparently not:

Even in a magical scenario where all of the roughly 200,000 Russian troops in the vicinity take the deal, $100,000 per soldier is a mere $20 billion. That’s less than one-fifth of what Germany now plans to spend on defense in 2022 alone.


Related: 'Why the Russians Are Struggling'

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