A wave of protests will grow in the Russian Federation. Political scientist on mobilization – DW – 22-09-2022

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in the country mobilization. Tatyana Felgenhauer, host of the DW News Show program, spoke to political scientist Abbas Gallyamov about the political consequences that could unfold in the country.

DW: What in your opinion was the most important in Putin’s speech, in which he announced a “partial” mobilization, and in Sergei Shoigu’s statement that followed?

Abbas Gallyamov: For me, the most interesting thing was that there were no new arguments for the need to wage this war. It was all the same that had already been uttered more than once, repeated repetition of the words “fascists”, “Nazis”. And this means that the authorities have not presented any additional arguments that speak of the benefits of human participation in this war. And this means that there will be no turning point in the public mood, old trends will dominate. And the trends were anti-war, very unpleasant for the authorities. That is, now we can safely predict that there will be a mass mobilization evasion and a gradually growing wave of protests.

The decision to introduce mobilization characterizes Putin’s regime, faster, strong side or weak side? It is unlikely that Vladimir Putin is unaware of the risks he is taking. He’s so sure there won’t be any serious consequences, or is it a wave of despair??

Abbas GallyamovPhoto: DW

– If he believed that there would be no consequences, he would have taken this step long ago. He has been called to this for a long time. Therefore, it is clear that he is afraid of the consequences. He just found himself in a situation where all other options are worse. To lose this war means to him an unequivocal political collapse. After that, he cannot remain president.

That’s why he decided to take a risk, I think, hoping not so much from the military aspect, not that these recruits will now help him defeat the Ukrainians on the battlefield. I don’t think he really believes in this prospect, actually. If you haven’t succeeded so far, why suddenly deal with the help of some more cannon fodder?

I think he is more looking forward to impressing Ukraine with his determination and willingness to escalate. His problem is that the Ukrainians do not want to sit at the negotiating table. He mentioned this twice last week: in a conversation with Indian Prime Minister Modi and in a conversation with Turkish President Erdogan. He said he was ready to stop everything immediately and complained that the Ukrainians refused to negotiate with him.

That’s why he shows his determination and willingness to raise the stakes. He seems to give the Ukrainians the idea that he will also continue to use nuclear weapons. I think now he mainly counts on the fact that the Ukrainians, seeing his willingness to take risks, will say to themselves: “Okay, to hell with him, he’s crazy, so it’s better to go with him sit down and negotiate. Let’s not make him sin.” Here is his calculation.

– In previous months, we have discussed the response of the Russian elites many times and said that the citizens of the Russian Federation no active participants in what is happening. Does the announcement of the mobilization of Russian citizens make them do the same? Perhaps now we should not look at how the elites will behave, especially since they have not shown anything special, but at what will happen in the cities of the Russian Federation?

– I predict a serious wave of protests. Previously, people, even those who protested, did not protest because, relatively speaking, they were afraid of being hit on the head with a riot baton or even sitting down. They had a couch on one side and a riot police cane on the other. And they chose between them. Now the choice has changed. Now instead of a bank, excuse me, a trench in Ukraine and the prospect of being burned by HIMERS are just ashes.

And in that sense, the ME’s stick isn’t so terrible anymore, compared to the prospect of being at the front. Many can now decide, they say, to hell with him, I go, I dare, I fight with the riot police, even if I sit down, I will live more. Therefore, the alignment is now completely changing and the protest moods will sometimes intensify. And where protests are on the risecan flare up physical protest.

If you return to sentiments among the elites: for them what?has it changed?

– By itself, Putin’s decision (on mobilization. – Ed.) is not fatal to them. They are now closely monitoring the consequences. And when they see that the people take to the streets, that the mobilization fails, that the people refuse to go, mass protests, riots, burns the military registration and recruiting officesthen of course they will have more determination.

Then they will have a clear understanding that Putin has completely destroyed his own social base and that he will most likely not be re-elected in 2024. And if he can, at great risk. That is, there will be a risk of an “orange revolution” and the whole system may collapse. And they will understand that they have to take care of saving the system themselves – in that sense there is no hope for Putin. And then I think they can put the question of a successor on the agenda.

– And who can become a successor against the background of everything that is happening? It is clear that they will try to push the security forces away.

– The security forces in their purest form have little chance. First, they have completely discredited themselves. After all, what is a successor for? To ease the burden on the system so that the West would negotiate with him so that the Liberals wouldn’t take to the streets, the opposition did not protest. And the security officer is no better than Putin in that sense. They will also protest against him. And the West will not talk to him in the same way and will pressure him in the same way.

And if Putin is removed, someone much more acceptable to opponents of the regime must appear in his place. Someone who has little to do with this recent military-patriotic hysteria. For example, Sobyanin, Kozak, Kudrin, Gref, Mishustin. There are people. Actually a lot of people.

Also see:

Mobilization experts: ‘It is a sign of Putin’s weakness’

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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