Vladimir Putin fears mass mobilization as Russia prepares for major ‘public backlash’ | world | news
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, President Vladimir Putin has strategically avoided his nation’s mass mobilization to make it appear that the conflict is a “special military operation” rather than an all-out war. The Kremlin has avoided mobilizing civilians for the war effort, fearing the country could erupt with a “political public backlash.” However, President Putin’s attempt to disguise the extent of the war through propaganda and misinformation could soon be exposed as Moscow is reportedly struggling to maintain a steady supply of troops and military equipment to the front lines amid such a high Russian death toll.
dr Patrick Bury, Lecturer in Security at the University of Bath, spoke to Express.co.uk to offer his analysis of Russia’s performance in the conflict.
dr Bury discussed problems faced by the Ukrainian armed forces in training new troops who had been quickly drafted into the army and had little to no combat experience.
He added: “Russia is facing the same thing, although they have not mobilized because of the special military operation.
“Putin is obviously very concerned, from an information perspective, about what would happen if he did so in light of the political public backlash against him. He’s very concerned about that.”
President Putin had previously outlined Russia’s plan for a “lightning strike” on Ukraine that would seize the capital Kyiv and quickly bring the whole country under Kremlin control.
More than six months into the conflict, Russia has failed to occupy Kyiv and the Ukrainian defense remains determined to push back the Russian invaders across the border.
dr Bury continued: “So what they [Russia] try to increase the complement of their military. We’ve seen them add 137,000 men to the army in the last few days.
“They’re trying to raise volunteer battalions, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to make up for the heavy casualties they’ve suffered.”
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A presidential decree was issued last week to increase the strength of Russia’s armed forces to 1,150,628, an increase of almost 140,000 people.
It remains unclear whether Russia plans to achieve this goal through increased conscription or by expanding the recruitment of voluntary contract soldiers.
Either way, the plan is unlikely to increase Russia’s military power in Ukraine, as very few contract soldiers are reportedly being recruited by the authorities and conscripts are generally exempt from being deployed to conflicts abroad.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense reported that the recruitment campaign for new troops was unlikely to make much headway in replacing the “tens of thousands” of soldiers Russia has already lost in the war.
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