Staunton, Sept. 22 – Putin counted on being able to defeat Ukraine with limited numbers of troops and thus avoid unsettling Russian society or provoking protests, the “Forbidden Opinion” telegram channel says. Now, he has opened the way to full mobilization and thus will touch every single Russian family.
The Kremlin leader has not changed the name of his “special military operation,” but he has changed its nature to one of a full-scale war. Russians have thus been put on notice that “there won’t be any normal life anymore” and are likely to react extremely negatively to this invasion of their lives (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=632BFC7574664§ion_id=50A6C962A3D7C).
By his actions, Putin has de facto acknowledged that his past approach hasn’t worked and that Russia is not winning. But he clearly assumes that sending masses of cannon fodder, poorly trained and far less well-armed and well-motivated than the Ukrainians his army faces. In this, the channel suggests, he is almost certainly wrong.
What this means is that there will be more casualties and thus more funerals across the Russian Federation. For those who will lose a loved one, it won’t matter very much what Putin calls the conflict or how much he blames the West. For them, their sons, fathers, brothers and friends will have died. And they will remember that.
Consequently, while Putin is calling this a limited mobilization, there can be little doubt that after new defeats, it will become a full-scale war, however much Putin and those around him can’t bring themselves to use that term. The Russian people know; they have seen this before; and they will react accordingly, some with enthusiasm and others with opposition.