Since the fall, Putin has sent countless Russians to war as part of mobilization.
Anastasia MamonovaEditor News
At the end of October, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the end of partial mobilization. 300,000 men were admitted to the ranks of the Russian troops. Is that the end of it? Can the Russians breathe easy? Might not.
Russia expert Stefan Meister from the German Council on Foreign Relations believes that Putin’s goal is to “conscript over a million men” and convert the country to a war economy. “I’m currently assuming that Russia could start a new offensive in the spring, when the new soldiers have been trained,” he says to “Focus”. This would have serious consequences for the people in the country. Society would then have to “prepare for a longer war” and also expect “to mourn more victims”.
The Kremlin itself has been denying the likelihood of a general mobilization for days. Putin’s press spokesman Dmitry Peskov (55) said on Monday that there were “no discussions” in the Kremlin about a second wave of reservists being mobilized. Meanwhile, the Kremlin-related portal Pravda reported that Putin plans to announce a second wave of mobilization before the end of the year. Peskow also denied that on Friday. He told Ria Novosti news agency that information about Putin’s speech on mobilization was untrue.
Public dissatisfaction is growing
The renowned Russian political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann (44) said a few days ago in an interview with “Ostoroschno Nowosti”: “If the mobilization took place out of military necessity, the number of those mobilized must be increased again as the number decreases. If it was for political reasons, people could now be left alone.”
Because dissatisfaction among the population has increased since partial mobilization was announced. Not least because of the poor supply and training of the soldiers. “It is clear that a second wave of mobilization would be organizationally and politically much more difficult than the first,” Schulmann is convinced. “People already know where they are being sent and they know the fate of those who have been mobilized so far.”
In addition, all those who wanted to go to war “out of conviction, out of naivety or out of financial self-interest” are already there. Schulmann describes the men who have stayed behind as “the most suspicious”. It would therefore be difficult to get hold of them and drag them to the recruiting office.
No money for those already mobilized
Not only the reluctance of the people could thwart Vladimir Putin’s (70) potential plans for more cannon fodder. The problem is also organizational and material resources.
The independent Russian portal “Wjorstka”, citing sources in the State Duma and in the presidential administration, reports that a scenario of total mobilization was actually being considered. However, the plan would hardly be feasible under the current conditions, since there is a lack of money and capacities to supply the Russians who have already been mobilized. “There are plenty of people anyway, but not enough guns, bulletproof vests, sleeping bags and vehicles,” says one of the sources.
That is why they are now working at a hurry to “plug the holes” that have arisen in the preparation of basic necessities for the soldiers, as well as weapons and other equipment. At the same time, reforms in the recruiting offices are being pushed ahead. The next wave of mobilization could start right after the turn of the year when the autumn RS is over.
But could public displeasure still slow Putin down in his decisions? Schulman thinks it’s possible. “We see that the Russian political system would like to survive and not smash itself against the wall. Although we also observe such attempts.”
At the same time, she points out that, even before the announcement of the first mobilization, the Kremlin could have assumed that the decision would not be well received by the population and that it would also be difficult to implement. Still, that didn’t stop Putin. A second mobilization is therefore not completely ruled out.