There is speculation in Russia that Vladimir Putin will soon demand a massive remobilization in a desperate bid to halt the disastrous defeats against Ukraine.
This is despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warning Moscow that it must withdraw from all occupied territories if a lasting solution to the war is needed.
It has also been predicted that such a move could be a diversionary tactic for Putin to step down and hand over power, with the leader reportedly suffering from ill health in recent months.
A Soviet-era T-34 tank and other military vehicles drive through the city of Novosibirsk during a military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, on May 9, 2022
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied today that the Kremlin warmonger would make any forthcoming announcement.
“Media information about Putin’s address, which will allegedly announce the ‘mobilization of the country’, is not true,” said Dmitry Peskov.
Yet such denials only fuel speculation that a move beyond the 300,000-plus already enlisted is not far off.
This is partly because Putin failed to sign the necessary decree to end the first wave of mobilization.
One version is that he could summon up to two million – including 300,000 women – to turn the war into a national crusade.
The move is likely to be accompanied by martial law in key cities, including Moscow, Russian sources say.
Such a scenario could serve as a political cover allowing him to hand over power in the event of deteriorating health, say some observers who are convinced he is terminally ill – despite regular recent appearances, including trips abroad to Armenia.
Rumors suggest that Sergei Kiriyenko, 60, his authoritarian deputy chief of staff and an ex-prime minister, could replace Putin, while others are targeting Dmitry Patrushev, agriculture minister, and son of Nikolay Patrushev, the president’s security chief, who is on the power would be. the new ruler.
“Putin thinks it is ‘sufficient’ to summon another two million people, some 300,000 of whom are women,” said the General SVR Telegram channel, which expects this to be activated in January.
“A large number of victims among the mobilized, according to the president, will only unite Russian society and strengthen the current regime, regardless of whether the result will be victory or defeat.”
Putin watcher Valery Solovey, a former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations, said: “The intention [is] to mobilize not 300,000, 400,000 or 500,000 but, with luck, up to two million people, including 300,000 women after the New Year celebrations.
“Moreover, the intention is to mobilize simultaneously with the introduction of martial law.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin presides over a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on November 24, 2022
He warned: “It should extend martial law to all of Russia or to a significant part of its territory, including the Russian capitals – the cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg.”
Many could be mobilized to work in factories that aid the war effort, the expert said.
“You can be sent to work on strengthening the country’s defense capabilities,” he said.
Companies could also be taken over by the state or handed over to pro-war Kremlin cronies, with Solovey saying, “There is an opportunity to do this under martial law.”
Solovey is convinced that Putin will leave in the next 13 months because of his metastatic cancer.
“He will definitely leave before 2024,” he predicts.
‘It is even possible that he will announce his departure before the turn of the year, but that depends on his health.
The Putin expert also pointed out how former leader Boris Yeltsin suddenly left and announced on the eve of the new millennium that he was handing over power to the virtually unknown ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin.
“If you were told on the morning of December 31, 1999 that he would retire by evening, would you believe it or not?
“No one would have believed it.”
Meanwhile, it is believed that any new conscription action will be plagued by a lack of military training facilities for the first wave, announced by Putin in September.
Many men were thrown into the front line unprepared, leading to claims that Putin used them as cannon fodder.
Earlier this week, men mobilized to Ukraine by Vladimir Putin prepared for war by fighting in a Russian nightclub.
Shocking footage showed a fight in Yurga, Kemerovo region, on a night out from a training camp before the men were sent to Ukraine.
Russian conscripts and civilians riot and throw chairs at each other during a brawl at a Russian nightclub
The Russian conscripts and civilians fight in a nightclub in Russia before being sent to Ukraine
The uniformed conscripts fight civilians in the latest example of bad discipline in Putin’s ranks.
The club was destroyed when the soldiers fought each other before reaching Ukraine.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Ukrainian President Zelensky said Putin’s forces must be removed from the entire Ukrainian country if there is any hope of an end to the war.
“We must return all lands,” said Mr. Zelensky, “because I believe the battlefield is the way to go if there is no diplomacy. If you don’t get your country back in full, the war is simply frozen. It’s only a matter of time before it happens again.’
The Ukrainian leader’s comments came amid mounting fears from Western allies that the war could escalate — especially if Ukraine made any attempt to take back Crimea, the region illegally captured by Russia during its 2014 annexation. .
The West fears that if Ukraine tries to take back Crimea, Putin could answer his threats and use nuclear weapons.
Zelensky admitted that the fate of Crimea was of increasing concern to the international community, but said: “If anyone is willing to offer us a way to relieve Crimea by non-military means, I will only be there for it”.