Mobilisation raids in Moscow and St Petersburg, Russia wants to seize Bakhmut by May 9, says expert

23 April, 01:10 PM
Mobilization raids began in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Yakovina said (Photo:REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)

Mobilization raids began in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Yakovina said (Photo:REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)

Author: Ivan Yakovyna

Intriguing convulsions in Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's regime can now be seen – from mobilisation round-ups in Moscow and St Petersburg to attempts to finally seize Bakhmut by May 9, Russia's Victory Day, international observer Ivan Yakovyna has told NV Radio.

After introducing "electronic military serfdom" in Russia a single database of recruits will be created, and people will be caught on the streets and taken into the army using any technical means (such as facial recognition software),” Yakovyna said.

“In fact, it has already begun.

“Round-ups are already being conducted in the main Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, the Moscow Times has reported. They're actually catching recruits using a face recognition system and delivering notice calls to students in dormitories. Although students should not be taken to the army, but, in fact, they are. They sometimes even break into people's apartments: drag them out and take them to recruitment centres.

Video of day

“At the beginning, the mobilisation was voluntary. Of course, there were people who wanted to earn some money or had other reasons. Then they started taking stupid, passive, wordless ones who were told to come to the collection point, and they did – those who did not resist. And now they will grab the rest.

“And now some political troubles may come. Russians had an informal agreement with the government: ‘You fight there, we support you. But if we have to go to war, we will no longer support you.’ And the sweet moment came when they began to recruit those who did not want to go to war.

“I don't know whether they will gather 300,000 people a month now, as they did in September last year. Most likely not. I think they will recruit 20-30,000 people a month to make up for the losses at the front. But the fact that they will recruit people is indisputable.

“The losses among conscripts in the battles for Bakhmut, Avdiyivka and Vuhledar is tremendous. The Russian army is losing people at a very fast pace. And (the losses) need to be replenished. So they put in place these draconian measures of looking for people through video cameras, distributing electronic summonses, etc.

“I want to reiterate: all military-service-liable Russians who might find themselves armed in Ukraine should leave Russia as soon as possible, flee before it's too late. Absolutely anything is better than killing and dying on the front line. That must be avoided, so it'd better to flee.

“Moreover, there is a terrible shortage of people to maintain the rather long frontline and to carry out the offensive near Bakhmut, which is still ongoing.

“The offensive has not halted. Russia is apparently trying to capture Bakhmut by May 9. Earlier, they really wanted to take Bakhmut before the New Year, but failed. Now they are trying to do it at least by May 9.

“One of the two roads leading to the city had fallen under Wagner mercenaries' control, according to some Western media outlets. I don't know if it is true. I haven't seen any video evidence yet. But if it is, it is certainly bad news. Not a catastrophe, but not good news.

“I'm not going to make any predictions about Bakhmut, because this city has surprised everyone many times. I think it can still surprise us.

“I just want to note that the Wagner mercenaries and the Russian Airborne Forces are suffering heavy losses in Bakhmut not so much because of street fighting, but recently because of the Ukrainian army remotely blowing up buildings.

“Meaning, after the Wagner mercenaries are crammed in a building left by the Ukrainian army, the building is being blown up, and everyone inside is killed. They can't stop cramming into these houses, because there is nowhere else to hide, firstly. And secondly, 15 people cannot get into a building, because they can easily be knocked out. Therefore, if they occupy a building, it means several hundred people at once. Therefore, several hundred are blown up.

“Wagner Group is complaining a lot about this Ukraine's Armed Forces tactic on their sites and Telegram-channels. They say it's not fair. Actually, they might not have attacked, and then they wouldn't have had such problems.

“There is other interesting news from other parts of the frontline. The Russians write that they are not supplied with artillery shells at all, saying they are being collected to repel a possible Ukrainian offensive. Only those units attacking in and around Bakhmut have ammunition. I don't know if it's true or not, but I heard this from Vuhledar, for example. They are not allowed to fire their guns at all there.

“I wonder how else Russia is preparing for this possible offensive. The Russian command is now preparing actively to repel an air raid on Moscow and the border towns on May 9. They are bringing all possible and impossible air defence systems to Moscow, because they are very afraid of strikes on the parade, on Putin, who will likely be on the stands. Or someone who will replace him in this case.

“Something like this could happen on or around May 9. This parade is not the only one, actually. There are several rehearsals for the parade before May 9. They are held somewhere outside the city and several days before at night in Moscow itself. They can probably be hit.

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“I think that a trained person with a good drone or several drones can easily make a very serious mess. Either during a rehearsal or during a parade.

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