Saturday, April 13, 2024

For 2024 at Least, Kremlin Likely to Buy Its Way Out of Any Need for New Mobilization Effort, Inozemtsev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 10 – Despite losses in Ukraine, the Kremlin is unlikely to decide to attempt a new mobilization campaign at least this year, Vladislav Inozemtsev says. On the one hand, it wants to avoid the opposition that would generate inside Russia and in the West; and on the other, it has sufficient funds to pay soldiers enough to attract more without a mobilization.

            The Russian economist and commentator who divides his time between Moscow and Washington notes that rumors have been swirling since the end of last year that the Kremlin has little choice but to declare a mobilization of as many as 300,000 men if it hopes to meet its military and political goals (

            But such rumors not only ignore the costs the Putin regime had to bear from its first mobilization effort but also the possibilities it has to avoid those costs if it finds other ways to increase the number of men in uniform – and the likelihood that paying soldiers more to do so will boost support for Putin and his policies, Inozemtsev continues.

            While the Kremlin could bear the direct costs of mobilization, he says, its experience with the first effort in that direction suggests that it would have a far harder time overcoming three indirect costs – anger in the population, more Russian flight and thus a potential shortage of workers in key places, and a greater Western resolve to resist Putin’s aggression.

            Moreover, Putin has another option – paying more to those who agree to sign up and to those already serving – that his government has sufficient funds for and that not only boost the economy by infusing it with new supplies of cash but also generate even more support for himself among soldiers getting higher pay and among other Russians whose pay will also rise.

            But this spiral does have a downside: if pay in the defense industries continues to rise, many will decide that it is better to get jobs there rather than take the risks to life and limb of becoming a soldier. As after the first mobilization, that triggers a spiral the authorities can meet now but may not be able to for a prolonged period.

            And so Inozemtsev’s prediction that the Kremlin is unlikely to use mobilization to make up for losses and increase the size of the army holds only for a relatively short term. If the war continues for several years, the Kremlin leader may not have that option and will be forced to use mobilization or pull back from his aggressive policies.

No comments:

Post a Comment