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“Putin himself laid a mine under his regime”: the consequences of the Kremlin’s announcement of partial mobilization and the first reactions in Russia


What does Vladimir Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization in Russia show? How will it affect the course of the Kremlin’s large-scale war against Ukraine? How will this affect the actions of the West?

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 21 about the start of partial mobilization in Russia
  • Russian Defense Minister Serhiy Shoigu said they plan to mobilize 300,000 Russians
  • According to recent changes in Russian legislation: for refusal to comply with the order – up to 8 years in prison, for breach of contract – up to 8 years, for breach of contract that caused losses to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for more than 5% of the total contract amount – up to 10 years.

How unexpected was Putin’s decision? What is it associated with? What will be the consequences for the Putin regime itself? This is what the TV channel is all about who created Radio Liberty with the participation of Voice of America, spoke to experts.

Maria Zolkina, analyst at the Foundation for Democratic Initiatives:

– Putin’s announcement of this partial mobilization was not unexpected. Somewhere from May-June, the expert community began to discuss the fact that one of the main goals of the so-called referendums in the occupied territories will be not only an attempt to involve Ukraine in some negotiations, but also an attempt to negotiate for the captured Ukraine. territories, but also mainly to have arguments for the domestic Russian public about the need to mobilize in Russia.

There should be arguments for the mobilization announcement for the domestic Russian audience

So nothing catastrophic and new has happened, nothing will change for Ukraine. Unless another argument was added to demand stronger and more military support.

And the West, against the background of some talks by Russia about the negotiations it is allegedly ready to conduct, received nuclear threats again.

And what this announcement of partial conscription says about Russia is also obvious. In Russia, all this time there was a covert mobilization, they also collected mercenaries for money in private military companies, in addition, from 70 to 100 thousand people were mobilized as part of the general mobilization in the occupied territories of Donbas – and all this was unsuccessful. Russia began to lose the territories it quickly captured in the first weeks of the occupation as a result of its aggression.

The risk of Ukraine seizing the Luhansk region was one of the main motivations for this emergency decision

I am a native of Luhansk Oblast, and in my opinion, the real prospect for Russia – the risk of Ukraine seizing Luhansk Oblast – was one of the main motivations for this urgent decision to partially mobilize. Russia began withdrawing its troops from the northern and northwestern cities of the Luhansk region when Ukraine retaliated in the Kharkiv region. And then for the first time, I will say, based on my own sources, he scared the occupation authorities in the Luhansk region.

Andriy Kolesnikov, Carnegie Foundation expert

– There was an admission by Putin of the failure of the so-called “special military operation”, an admission of his failures. A man, driven into a corner, pulls bitterly from the same corner, and plugs the holes of his failures and failures with “cannons”, living human bodies. People who weren’t going to fight at all.

Putin violated a certain informal agreement with the population of Russia: “You do not interfere in our affairs. We calmly fight, steal, and you go about your business.”

Putin has undermined the foundations of his own model of governance: authoritarianism in exchange for stability

Suddenly, against the background of greetings in Moscow and entertainment programs on state television, the frustrated Russian high command decided to involve the population in its very dangerous war games.

At first, the population of Russia, in my opinion, will respond in part by accepting what is happening, because it is a population that is adaptable to the Kremlin. But bitter resentment will grow, and from a strategic point of view, what Putin has decided now is absolutely disastrous for the country and for himself. He is undermining the foundations of his own management model, which is based on authoritarianism and so-called stability.

Putin is in direct confrontation with the population of his country

It’s not 2014… Back then there were less discontent, but more protest moods, because there was no colossal scale of repression, which is present now. Nowadays, there are many more disaffected people, but there is less of a mood to protest, because people understand what going out on the streets ends in: inevitable arrests.

And now, in my opinion, the repressive elements will intensify, because Putin is coming into direct confrontation with the population of his country, especially with those who support him in principle.

I repeat, these people who fought, who actually served, did not plan to live a military life. Society, despite the fact that the state is authoritarian, was fully modernized, was to continue to drink, eat and travel. This unwritten contract with the authorities did not include participation in hostilities.

Putin planted a mine under his own regime with his own hands

I think someone will come out, but it will be suppressed with great force.

Extremely negative energy will accumulate in Russian society, and the attitude towards the regime that deprived people of stability and normal life will gradually change.

With his decision today, Putin has single-handedly planted a mine under his own regime.

How did Russia react?

Russian markets reacted with a crash to the introduction of partial mobilization by the Kremlin. The fall began on September 20 amid anticipation of Putin’s speech and intensified after his remarks. The index of the Moscow Stock Exchange fell below 2,100 points. The last time this happened was in February, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a full-scale war.

  • Russians immediately bought plane tickets to “visa-free” countries.

According to reports by the Russian news agency, immediately after Putin’s speech, all air tickets for September 21 to Istanbul, Yerevan and Minsk were sold out.

Some routes with intermediate transfers, in particular from Moscow to Tbilisi, are also unavailable. At the same time, the cheapest flights from Moscow to Dubai cost more than 300,000 rubles (US$5,000), which is beyond the reach of most Russians.

In the evening, September 21, reports against the mobilization for the war in Ukraine. Police arrested almost a thousand participants in the actions.

about rallies and marches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Barnaul, Ulan-Ude, Yakutsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Ufa – in only 38 cities of Russia.

The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office imposed administrative sanctions and criminal sentences of up to 15 years in prison on residents of the city for participating in and organizing rallies or calling for them.

After Vladimir Putin’s speech and the announcement of partial conscription “Spring” movement and supporters of the prisoner Russian opposition leader Oleksii Navalny called on the Russians to protest at 19:30.

  • 200,000 Russians signed against conscription in half a day

“We, citizens of Russia, women and men, are against general and partial mobilization. President Vladimir Putin has no legal grounds, well thought out and reasoned reasons for his announcement. In the present state of uncertainty, we are not prepared to expose the men of our country – brothers, sons, husbands, fathers and grandfathers – to moral and physical danger,” the petition reads.

  • RosZMI calculated: Shoigu’s statement on losses does not match the figures of the Ministry of Defense

Russia for the second time since the beginning . AND quickly calculated that the statements of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Serhiy Shoigu about the losses of Ukraine differ from the daily summaries of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and that the losses of Russia are higher than those announced by the Russian Minister.

  • He was forced to imitate the support of the so-called referendums

In St. Petersburg, regional state administrations ordered municipalities to find people to participate in a rally in favor of holding so-called referendums on the Ukrainian territories held by Russia. Refers with reference to several municipalities of St. Petersburg. The interlocutors of the publication said that the administration requires 5-10 people from them.

source: radio svoboda


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