Putin has no turning back. If he loses the war started against Ukraine, it will cost him power, and perhaps even more. In the same situation, members of the government of the Russian Federation, and deputies of the State Duma, who – both in joy and in grief – are with the current owner of the Kremlin. They are in a panic. Against the backdrop of the successes of Ukraine, which is reclaiming its territories, Russia is threatened with a military defeat. Something that no one in Moscow expected.
So Putin is now announced a “partial” mobilizationhe wants send 300 thousand to the front reservists. They must stop the Ukrainian offensive, an offensive that testifies to the hopeless situation of the Russian army.
Weak and isolated?
A few days ago – behind the scenes of the summit Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan – Putin relaxedly stated that Russia does not need to hurry in Ukraine. In reality, the world saw a weakened, isolated Putin. Television cameras showed a very aged man, which other heads of state and government kept waiting for. Putin obediently sat on the couch and listened to what they had to say.
Turkey, India, even China have publicly made it clear that they do not support Putin’s war, preferring the territorial integrity of Ukraine. And they have a good reason – this war puts a burden on the world economy and weakens those politicians whose support Putin counted on in the war.
According to the Kremlin, this cannot continue. Therefore, back in Moscow, Putin hastened to change course. In fact, “partial” mobilization is recognition of the failure and military weakness of Russia in the east of Ukraine. Within a few days after the announcement of the “vote” on joining the occupied territories to Russia, it became obvious that the Ukrainians do not want to be part of Russia. Yes, and voting at gunpoint, a referendum in ruins, no one in the world will be taken seriously.
Putin wants to protect his prey. The captured Ukrainian territories, according to his plan, should become part of the Russian Federation. Then, with the involvement of all military means, he will call for the defense of the homeland. From a “special military operation” whose implementation was to be limited to a certain place and time and little affect the realities of ordinary Russians, it will rhetorically turn into the defense of the “native land” by all means and even with the help of nuclear weapons.
The end of the “special operation”
It doesn’t take a prophet to predict that the notion of a “special military operation” will soon disappear. Kremlin propaganda will bury him. Instead, even crazier lies, new fabrications, threats through the state-controlled media will be aimed at indoctrinating Russians. It is already being asserted that Russia is not waging war against Ukraine, but protects Ukraine from the US and the UK. Anyone who wants to believe in it – believes.
The new escalation of Putin’s world leaders, who are now gathered at the UN General Assembly in New York, will be taken seriously. But their policy towards Moscow is unlikely to change. Kyiv will continue to receive weapons, the Ukrainian army will continue to fight. And 300 thousand Russian reservists? They have never been to war before, they are poorly equipped. These are the fathers of families, men whom against their will pulled out of their usual life.
In Ukraine, they must defend Russia – along with prisoners and Chechen mercenaries. It won’t lead to anything good. They will see with their own eyes that Ukraine does not want to belong to Russia. Tens of thousands of men will die so that Putin and his entourage can remain in power and not answer to the people for their crimes. This is the tragedy of the miscalculation made by the master of the Kremlin.
Posted by Miodrag Shoric, columnist for DW
The comment expresses the personal opinion of the author. It may not coincide with the opinion of the Russian editors and Deutsche Welle in general.