Monday, September 26, 2022

Russian Attitudes about Ukraine Likely to Worsen if Many of the Newly Mobilized are Killed There and that Could Help Putin Not Hurt Him, Samodurov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 24 – Vladimir Putin may be “cynically” counting on massive losses among those he is mobilized to increase Russian anger at Ukraine relative to the population’s anger at him and thus allow the Kremlin leader to mobilize support for an even more aggressive stance there, Yury Samodurov says.

            In a blog post that he says he hopes does not turn out to be true, the Russian commentator says that for most Russians, the war in Ukraine has been something far removed from their daily life and so they aren’t especially mobilized against Ukraine and Ukrainians (

            The initial reaction of Russians to Putin’s call for mobilization has not been as negative as many had expected; but with massive mobilization of more people who will be sent into battle inadequately trained and inadequately led, the war will come home to ever more Russians who may start by blaming Putin but can easily be led to blame Ukrainians more, Samodurov says.

            If that should prove to be the case, the Kremlin leader will have a far easier time of it if he decides to mobilize far more than the 300,000 now being discussed. Indeed, being a cynic about all things including the lives of the Russian people, Putin likely will welcome what some massive losses in the near term will mean for him personally.

            Samdurov’s argument is important because it has become the position of almost all observers that increased losses among Russian forces will hurt Putin more than almost anything else. If the commentator is right, however, the Kremlin leader could end up benefiting from such a tragedy and then be in a position to launch an even greater one.

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