Only Russians Are Afraid of Putin Now

Everything goes according to plan in Russia, but it was not written by Putin.
Mobilization for an undeclared war has begun and many Russians would die there.
Then there will be an enlightenment of the nation and Putin's removal/ runaway.

Image by Dmitry Moor amended by author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On September 21, 2022, Mr. Putin announced a “partial” mobilization in Russia, still not having declared war on Ukraine, despite the fact that Russian troops had been on its territory since February 2022. Mr. Putin was very reluctant to declare the mobilization, but ultimately he had to. The goal is to call up some 300,000 reservists to continue the war in Ukraine. He also announced that the collective West wants to destroy Russia with the hands of the Ukrainians, and hinted at a nuclear response to alleged nuclear threat.

It's good that Ukraine and collective West did not waver in the face of Mr. Putin's threats. Apparently, everyone is tired of being afraid of scary Mr. Putin. President Zelenskiy called a partial mobilization in Russia the “admission of failure” and President Biden said that «the US and its allies would stand in solidarity against Russia”, and accused Moscow of violating the UN charter at the UN General Assembly in New York.

In his address to the nation on September 21, Mr. Putin specified that “ … we are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military specialty and relevant experience. Conscripts will obligatorily go through additional military training based on the experience of the special military operation before departing to the units”.

However, I think they're going to take everyone, starting from the outskirts of Russia.

Thus the mobilization has just begun in Russia. Not total, but "partial” one. This means that Mr. Putin is going to escalate, which in turn is because he has no other way to go. Empires must expand, otherwise they collapse.

Apparently, Mr. Putin decided by 2007 that a new empire in Russia had taken place under his leadership. He criticized what he called “the United States' monopolistic dominance in global relations” at the Munich Security Conference, and also veiledly presented Russia as a second and equal to the United States power pole.

Right after, in 2008, Putin's Russian empire slightly expanded its presence in Georgia. Russian troops invaded 2 regions – Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and then Russia has recognized them as the independent states. Georgia still cannot do anything about that.

Six years later, almost the same scenario was repeated in Ukrainian Crimea (Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014) and in Donbass without annexation and recognition though.

The world reacted in almost no way to Russia's aggressive actions.

Mr. Putin was obviously very much emboldened by such Western connivance and tried to expand his empire to all of Ukraine in February 2022. But … Ukraine was very much against and the collective West began to help it with weapons and money. The Russian plan for a lightning fast takeover of the entire country in February 2022 has been reduced to holding the conquered territories of Donbass and the parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Mr. Putin has stuck in Ukraine.

I think that the word "partial" for this mobilization was invented for not to scare the people much, but anyway the Russians bought up all direct tickets to the capitals of Turkey and Armenia, and when they ran out, to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan on September 21. Some not blind Russian citizens were frightened and did not wait for their country's border closure, fleeing from performing their civic duty to protect Russia, which was in fact a duty to die for Mr. Putin's megalomania. However, many blind Russians remained in the country and would now go as cannon fodder to Mr. Putin’s war.

The Ukrainian war has not been seen or heard much in Russia until now, especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg. People lived their normal lives and thought about war only while watching TV and then, of course, cheered for their soldiers. It is like watching a football game. For many of them, the real war with many tens of thousands of casualties of both involved sides was just a backdrop to their normal everyday lives. Mr. Putin invented his own parallel reality, in which poor Russia is humiliated and deceived by the damned West all the time, and made at least half of his fellow citizens believe in this reality, too.

But it's different now. After the announcement of mobilization, even partial one, everything will go differently. A real war, not a TV version, will come to every Russian home where there are men from 18 to 60 years old. Every Russian citizen will be able to take part in this "football game" personally and the win or loss will be his life/death or disability.

The protests against mobilization began in Russia on the very day of announcement and more than 1,200 people were detained during September 21 and 22. It's certainly not much for a country with a population of about 145 million people, but it's only the beginning because now the war is going to affect everyone.

Many Russians don't want to go to war, but they are forced to. The State Duma (Russia's highest legislative body) has passed amendments to the Russian Criminal Code and Mr. Putin signed them into law on September 24. A bill introduces lengthy jail terms (10-15 years) for wartime acts including desertion and "voluntary" surrender. A hidden war in Russia is starting, now between Mr. Putin and his own people. Thus war came to Mr. Putin, too. Things are getting worse and worse for him, and there is nothing he can do about that.

Mr. Putin has backed himself into a corner by this absurd war. Only he can stop it. You may remember that Putin's press secretary Peskov said in the beginning of March 2022 that Russia “will stop in a moment” if Ukraine submits to Russia's demands.

But Mr.Putin cannot stop the war, because it is the "loss of face”. Yes, the face of the executioner and war criminal, but it is what it is. So there is the only one way left for him - the escalation. By continuing the war, Mr. Putin has put himself in a position where he simply has no good moves. And when the «killed in action” notices start coming to almost every Russian home, Mr. Putin won't be able to sit on the throne. All Russians will finally come up with the right question that never occurred to them before, "What did my brother/father/husband/son die for?" Actually, Mr. Putin has already answered to that question on February 24, 2022 - for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, but nobody understood his words then. After the mobilization is launched, this distant and incomprehensible "demilitarization and denazification" turns into concrete pain over the loss of a beloved one. And it turns out that he died for Mr. Putin's virtual world or even something simpler like "Putin has made a mistake". So he is the one to blame. All Russians will point to Mr. Putin after the defeat.

Partial or even full mobilization will not help Mr. Putin in this war because it is not numbers that fight, but skills, and also the inner readiness of a soldier to die for the victory, which is now called motivation.

Many experts are of the opinion that it will take many months to equip, retrain 300K reservists and to really get these new units up and running to be effectively deployed to Ukraine.

Mr. Putin does not have these months. Ukraine is determined to recapture its territories, and Western sanctions are strangling Russia's economy no matter what they say. Mr. Putin cannot stop and is taking the only path left - raising the stakes and throwing new cannon fodder into the crucible of his war. By the way, this is the approach of a real KGB officer and communist who does not care about the number of victims. The Russians will see soon that their main enemy, who has already sacrificed several tens of thousands of his compatriots (officially Russia admits only 5,937 soldiers died so far) is not Ukrainian "neo-Nazi", but their own "democratically elected" president with a Russian surname.

From this point of view, the more reservists Mr. Putin manages to mobilize, the more of them will die in Ukraine, so the sooner the enlightenment of the Russian nation occurs. Wounded and formerly captive Russian soldiers will bring to Russia their viewpoint of Mr. Putin's greatness and Russia's real place in the world.

P.S. I’m sure that Mr. Putin will be far away from Russia by that time.

P.P.S. Dear Reader! I am very much interested in your opinion on the subject of this article. Please, write a comment or ask a question if you want to clarify something.
Igor Chykalov
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