Kremlin’s partial mobilization may lead to discontent, says ISW – Ukraine war / The New Voice of Ukraine

Combat work of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the front line, September 2022 (Photo:General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine)

Combat work of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the front line, September 2022 (Photo:General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine)

The Kremlin’s despotic approach to partial mobilization is unlikely to ensure the creation of effective troops and cause significant discontent within the country at the cost of insignificant benefits for the invading Russian forces, the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Sept. 22.

The first days of mobilization in Russia have demonstrated this “despotic” approach, ISW analysts say, as recruiters immediately began to openly violate the parameters set by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. As a result, Russian citizens are being forcibly conscripted with no regard to pretext, prior military service, or other purported mobilization standards. Anti-mobilization protest participants have likewise been conscripted, the ISW reports, which is likely to exacerbate internal dissatisfaction in Russia, ISW experts predict.

They added that the Kremlin is likely to “disproportionately” mobilize representatives of non-Russian peoples and ethnic groups, as well as immigrant communities. Ideas are already being voiced in Moscow to introduce compulsory military service for immigrants from Central Asia who have acquired Russian citizenship over the past decade, under the threat of being stripped of their citizenship. And local officials are likely to be forced to mobilize men regardless of their military status. Some subjects of Russia, such as the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Kursk region, are already introducing regulations prohibiting reservists (Russian citizens with prior military experience) from leaving their places of permanent residence.

ISW notes that the first signs of public anger across Russia in response to these actions have already manifested, going by data from Independent Russian human rights outlet, OVD-Info — which have documents protests in 42 cities in the country, as well as cases of arson of military enlistment offices and local government buildings (in Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Tolyatti and the Trans-Baikal Territory). 

“The Kremlin is likely to quell such protests in the coming days,” ISW analysts write.

“However, […] blatant disregard for even the parameters of mobilization dictated by the authorities may contribute to the alienation of those sections of the Russian public that were previously more tolerant…

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