On the morning of September 21, the Kremlin did release Putin’s announced video address. The Russian dictator, as it was predicted, promised to recognise the results of the so-called “referenda,” announced a partial mobilisation to protect the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the RF, and once again resorted to nuclear blackmail. Subsequently, Russian Defence Minister Shoigu specified that 300,000 reservists would be mobilised.
For the first time since World War II, the Kremlin announced an open mobilisation formalised by a decree of the head of state thus demonstrating that “the special operation follows the plan.”
It is no longer surprising that the Kremlin’s militaristic statements and threats to use weapons of mass destruction were made on the International Day of Peace. Every hitler needs his genocide and his world war.
● The announcement of partial mobilisation in the RF attests to the failure of plans for a “small victorious war” (special operation) with small losses and the inability of the Russian army to fulfil the tasks set by the command. The Ukrainian military destroyed the aggressor’s plans and the myth of the “second army of the world,” having stopped the enemy offensive. The liberation of Kharkiv region and the successful counter-offensive actions of the Armed Forces in Kherson region were a painful blow to the Kremlin.
● Russia finally switches to the “besieged fortress” mode, whose residents need to “unite around the chief” and be ready to confront almost the whole world. The threat of transferring the war to the Russian territory should become a mobilisation factor: it is not only about the occupied Crimea, but also about Belgorod, Kursk and other border oblasts of the RF, which have become a springboard for the offensive against Ukraine.
● Promises of improved material security and social guarantees for mercenaries of private military companies (“volunteer soldiers”) and “L/DPR” militants at the level of the personnel army indicate that hidden mobilisation was in vain.
● The key task of the Russian army nowadays is to maintain the front line and deter counter-offensive actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. From an active offensive and threats to “take Kyiv in three days,” the Russians switch to defence.
● Putin explains the failures of the “second army of the world” by the fact that it has to fight not only with a neighbouring state (the attitude to which was and is disrespectful), but against the NATO bloc and the entire “collective West,” which “pumps Ukraine with weapons.” Although, the West hasn’t even started fighting the RF yet.
● Threats to use all “possible forces and means” and the reference to the “wind rose” are nothing but open nuclear blackmail addressed to the West.
● Moscow, as always, shifts the responsibility for starting the war to its victim. Now, Putin absurdly states that “Russia was attacked in 2014.”
● The Kremlin seeks to consolidate itself in the territories occupied after 24 February. This is evidenced by the fact that Putin mentioned Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts several times and not once did he mention Kharkiv oblast (the occupation of which did not happen, although more than 20% of its territory was controlled by invaders for six months). It is common for Russia to “forget” defeats quickly, especially painful ones.
● Putin promises to ensure the holding of “referenda” and to support “decisions made.” Compared to 2014, Russian pseudo-referendums are increasingly turning into a farce, and this cannot be concealed.
● Putin’s statements about “true patriots” among the representatives of various peoples of Russia indicate that the practice of disproportionately high representation of non-Russian indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities in the current army (and thus among the dead) will persist. The Kremlin will continue to use them as cannon fodder in the war for the Russian world. The death of young men will contribute to changing the ethnic composition of the population of non-Russian regions.
● Putin once again adjusted the plans of the “special operation,” emphasizing that they “remain unchanged.” He is blatantly and cynically lying to those who support him.
In fact, the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine has long been out of the Kremlin’s control. The prospect of defeat is hanging more and more clearly over the aggressor state. With the help of mobilisation, the Kremlin will try to save the front line from destruction, take time, and use it to blackmail and intimidate Ukraine and the world with nuclear weapons. War criminals Putin and Shoigu have nothing left but to raise the stakes. They fight above all for their own personal survival.
Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security