Russian society’s indifference to the war in Ukraine may begin to shake if the war hits home in the form of mobilization, defense analyst Kirill Mikhailov said in an interview with NV on Sept. 20.
The analyst, from the open-source military analysis group Conflict Intelligence Team, was commenting on Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s possible next steps and the opinion of Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, the head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
Berrier believes Putin may change the goals of the war in Ukraine due to the recent failures of Russian forces on the battlefield.
“If it were some kind of normal government that was clearly aware of the problems facing it, it (Putin’s regime) would now have moved to strategic defense on the entire front and would have carried out partial mobilization,” Mikhailov said.
“But, as we understand, Putin is afraid of this, because even according to Russian polls, half of the country already says that it’s necessary to start negotiations, although they express their support (for the ‘special military operation’).”
The CIT expert believes the majority of Russian society is indifferent both to the death of Ukrainians and the war in general. However, if the war comes to the Russians’ houses in the form of mobilization, this indifference may begin to shake, and this is exactly what Putin fears, Mikhailov says.
“In such a case (the dictator) has no good options left, so to say,” he said.
“He can hope that (Russia) can hold out in the winter, when Ukraine’s support from European countries is supposed to be shaken somehow. But,first of all, European countries are not the main suppliers of weapons to Ukraine now. Secondly, Europe hates Putin, hates Russia, hates the Russian army. This is what the polls say.”
Members of Russia’s State Duma on Sept. 20 unanimously adopted in the second and third readings amendments to the Russian Criminal Code relating to the concepts of “mobilization,” “martial law,” and “armed conflict.” Desertion, non-appearance for military service and voluntary surrender into captivity will be punished in Russia.
Voluntary surrender into captivity (up to 10 years in prison) and looting (up to 15 years) are among the new articles of Russia’s Criminal Code included in the draft law.