Russia, Vladimir Putin announced mobilization. Marek Menkiszak: risky in the long run for the regime

Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia. – This is a direct consequence of Russia’s defeats in the conflict with Ukraine. The Ukrainian counteroffensive caused the collapse of the Kremlin’s narrative about the success of the special military operation, assessed Marek Menkiszak, team leader of the Russian Center for Eastern Studies.

On Wednesday morning, Russian state television broadcast a speech by the Russian president Vladimir Putinin which he announced the immediate, partial mobilization of Russia. Marek Menkiszak, head of the team at the Russian Center for Eastern Studies, assessed on Thursday in an interview with PAP that Putin’s decision to mobilize and the so-called annexation referenda are “a direct consequence of the fact that Russia is failing in its conflict with Ukraine“The Ukrainian successful counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region in particular has caused the collapse of the Kremlin’s narrative that we are dealing with the success of a special military operation,” he added.

As noted by Menkiszak, Russia’s defense minister Sergey Shoygu he informed that the announced mobilization is to affect 300,000 people, but the Putin decree does not contain any quantitative or qualitative restrictions on conscription. – Virtually every Russian in a very wide age range can be called up for service and sent to Ukraine – he stressed. He added that the mobilization itself should proceed “without major difficulties”, due to, inter alia, increased penalties for desertion or evasion of military service up to 10 years imprisonment.

Vladimir PutinPAP / EPA / GAVRIIL GRIGOROV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

– It is and will be extremely unpopular in Russia. Despite the fact that mass protests are not to be expected (…) the political costs of this action are particularly risky in the long run for the regime, as they will cause growing discontent not only in the wider society, but above all also in its elites, who will fear the consequences of the growing confrontation war on the part of Russia, he said.

Menkiszak: In my opinion, this goal will not be achieved

The announcement of mobilization, the annexation of territories and Putin’s “very vague threats” regarding the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity are – according to Menkiszak – to increase Russian potential and have a deterrent effect for Ukraine and “primarily the West from supporting the Ukrainian counteroffensive” .

– In my opinion, this goal will not be achieved. Putin will not succeed in stopping Ukrainian actions, and will not reduce military aid from the West. On the contrary, this aid will increase and the sanctions will also increase, he assessed. He added that Western countries will not remain indifferent to the formal annexation of Ukrainian regions as a result of “completely rigged and illegal referenda”, which will be “another brutal violation of the foundations of international law”

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