Putin’s mobilization could be the end of his regime – DW – 9/22/2022

Published by
Peter Kavinsky
Protests in Moscow against Putin’s mobilization decreePhoto: Reuters Photographer/REUTERS

The liberation by Ukrainian troops of the previously Russian-occupied regions of the Kharkiv region posed such a serious threat to the entire Russian front that Putin urgently had to announce mobilization. The reason for Putin’s growing military problems is well known: there are not enough soldiers, that same “cannon fodder”. If he does not urgently strengthen his army with tens of thousands of recruits, the front will succumb to the blows of the armed forces of Ukraine and the NVO and end up losing control even in those areas that the President of the Russian Federation has long considered his own. : about Donetsk, Lugansk and even Crimea. Such a military catastrophe could spell the end of the Putin regime: no amount of propaganda can explain or justify the fact that Russia has clearly lost the war.

Photo: DW/P. Ball

The widespread travel of recruiters to prisons is the flip side of the failure of recruiting Russian citizens. And this failure testifies, first of all, to the fact that mass active support for the actions of the authorities or complete confidence in propaganda is now excluded, otherwise from the first days of the war there would have been queues of people wanting to go to the front. go to the military registration and recruiting offices.

War – in every house

In recent months, the question has often been asked as to why no one in Russia is concerned about the deaths of thousands of soldiers in the war in Ukraine. They often remembered the Chechen war and the activity of soldiers’ mothers then and asked why it is not there now. The answer is simple: while those who went there volunteered to fight and die at the front, there was no one to mourn them, often even in their immediate vicinity – usually a very specific contingent was recruited for the army.

For most Russians, the war remained something distant and more like a long-running TV show. Somewhere someone is fighting, “ours” are constantly winning and moving forward, and all that is required of the layman is to say every time that Putin is doing everything right or, in extreme cases, that everything is not so clear is.

And now Putin himself has changed the situation. Now those who believed that the victory was almost won, and those who were not at all interested in the war, and those who somehow opposed it, will fight and die – no one will ask for anyone’s desire anymore. War will come to every home.

mobilization protests

More than 1,300 participants were detained in Russia on the first day of mobilization protest actions. Some of them received a subpoena at the office. That is of course still too little to stop the war. And most likely, those who have long decided everything for themselves, both about the war and about Putin, will even now come out to protest.

It should be noted that mobilization not only provides new reasons for protests, but also opens up new opportunities to intimidate dissent. First, the prospect of being seen by the authorities participating in protests is particularly unappealing now that it’s more rational to hide from the authorities so as not to please the front.

Second, mobilization is a good reason to initiate the isolation of activists who are reprehensible to the authorities, protesters and only young people, by locking them in barracks away from the big cities. It has long been known that in the Russian army you can spend your whole life without ever taking up arms. All this must be taken into account when assessing the current size and results of the protests in Russia.

Putin violated an unspoken pact with Russians loyal to him

But still, when will the horror of what is happening reach, if not all, then the majority of the active part of the population? And will it come?

History shows that it will most likely come – but not in the coming days and weeks. Only in a month or a month and a half, when tens of thousands of summoned residents are already at the front, will the whole horror of the new situation become clear to them, their families and everyone else.

Even Russia’s most loyal citizens will find that Putin has unilaterally violated the unspoken pact with them that kept him in power for 20 years: you don’t engage in politics and power doesn’t affect you. The townspeople who zealously did not engage in politics, dutifully went to the polls, believed the propaganda stories and despised those who disagreed will be deceived and punished for their belief in Putin and in Putin. In addition, many of the most loyal to Putin will turn out to be crippled, orphans, widows, and someone will die altogether – and this will be the point where belief in Putin will end for each of them.

Putin went bankrupt. He risked everything that, by summoning hundreds of thousands of Russians to the front, he would quickly end the war, defeat Ukraine and thereby “expand” all the questions and doubts that had accumulated in the population. He doesn’t want to see another scenario.

Meanwhile, another option is much more realistic: Ukraine, supported by the whole world, will stand and continue to fight and win, while in Russia there will be only endless mobilization, a stream of “funerals” from the front, the seizure of personal vehicles for the military needs, the hunt for “evaders” and “deserters”, crying mothers, wives, children – and so many months, without light and hope. Until the front soldiers, deserters, enemies, widows, orphans and mothers who have lost their sons, tired of war and defeat, take to the streets. And now there will be no one to spread them.

By the way, this is how the reign of Nicholas II ended in 1917.

Author: Fedor Krasheninnikov – Russian political scientist and publicist, was forced to leave Russia in 2020. Telegram: @fyodork

The commentary reflects the author’s personal opinion. It should not coincide with the opinion of the Russian editors and German welle generally.

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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