The fresh Russian Army attack is being prepared, as many of its initial draft’s problems have been solved.
Western nations have already declared that Russia has lost the battle against Ukraine. However, because the timing, expense, and extent of Ukraine’s triumph are unknown, the survival of the independent state of Ukraine is still in question.
However, according to many observers, the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin mobilized military-age men to fight in Ukraine has destroyed Russia’s vaunted domestic political stability for good. Moreover, the sight of thousands of people fleeing the country to avoid being drafted was evidence that Putin had severely miscalculated and risked ruining the regime’s legitimacy at home.
Kremlin cared little about the draft law’s potential to decrease the number of troops at the front; instead, it was crucial to Moscow because it allowed it to mitigate shortages. Because of the presence of mobilized forces in Luhansk, Ukraine could not make significant advances in Lyman, Ukraine, in early October. However, thanks to reinforcements in Kherson, the Russian army could withdraw in an orderly fashion, preventing a repeat of the disastrous losses in Kharkiv. Near Bakhmut, Russian troops even made modest gains at the expense of newly mobilized soldiers and prisoners.
Despite the fact that the Russians were recently drafted and lacked equipment, training, and motivation, the Ukrainians’ better morale and superior technology have not prevented Russia from achieving its interim military objectives at a relatively modest political cost. What would another million troops do if the arrival of a few tens of thousands was sufficient to accomplish that?
The Russian government was limited this autumn in its first attempt to mobilize troops because of the public’s hostility to forced conscription and the absence of essential equipment for new recruits. Weapons, clothing, and even food were unavailable, reducing the military value of the new recruits, and Putin’s approval ratings plunged as a result of the unpopular nature of the initiative.
As a result of Anatoly Serdyukov’s effective army reforms, both issues have been at least partially addressed. The Kremlin outsourced most of its military procurement to Russia’s more effective civilian bureaucracy, following Serdyukov’s example. In addition, two prominent technocrats—Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin—were appointed to guarantee that the military’s material needs were adequately met.
It is not to say that the difficulties with the armed forces’ supplies will be fixed. However, taking supply management out of military brass hands will almost certainly result in some improvements. Furthermore, average Russians are expected to assist their friends and family members who have been drafted. They will do so to keep their loved ones warm and fed, who have been mobilized to protect them from cold and hunger.
Domestic popularity won’t be harmed by anger among rank-and-file Russians because societies such as Russia are highly atomized. Nevertheless, it was telling to see how quickly Putin’s support rating and other public mood indicators rebounded as soon as the Kremlin declared the first wave of mobilization complete. Most Russians were relieved that they didn’t have to go to the Donbas trenches. They welcomed the chance to return to everyday life, ignoring the horrors of the war and downplaying the risk that they might be swept up in the next round of mobilization.
A cult dedicated to military glory and defending their homeland dominates the Russian education system and popular culture. In the lead-up to the war, militarist sentiment rose, with more people believing that army service was a duty. Two-thirds of those polled believed they were prepared to die for their country, as did many Russians. As a result, they feel it is only natural that some of their compatriots have to die at the front when their country is at war. It was only when the mobilization was carried out haphazardly and in a catch-all manner in the fall that people were shocked less by the mobilization itself than by how it was carried out. People were outraged when men with no military experience, female doctors with children at home, and men in their sixties were called up.
Due to public outcry, authorities are striving to make subsequent drafts run more smoothly. Those privileged, active, or determined to avoid the army at all costs will have realistic options. They may escape abroad, enroll in postgraduate studies, or seek a job with a corporation that offers a technical exemption from military service. Although the draft has been used to repress anti-government activists, occasionally arresting them and delivering draft papers while in detention, only a handful of those affected is affected by the draft.
The president himself has stated that it is better to die fighting for one’s country than to drink oneself to death on vodka. Therefore, military authorities should focus on poorer, disadvantaged Russians who offer less resistance and are of little value to the state because he clearly implied that.
The Kremlin strives to combine military commission records with data from other government departments, including health care and border security. This endeavor is scheduled to finish in April 2024, suggesting that the digitized draft will remain relevant for a long time.
The authorities want to locate the people most suitable for recruiting, so they can draft them into the army. Those who are prepared will be forced to stay because the borders will likely be closed to them (and nobody else), and their access to public services will be denied.
It is true that Russia will only be able to build a perfect digital draft system after a period of time. Delays and errors are to be expected. However, the Russian government has a lot of experience in controlling its citizens digitally. It has used surveillance technology for many years to find anti-regime protesters, tax dodgers, and COVID-19 violation offenders.
The new partial mobilization orders will maintain a semblance of normality in Russian society and allow most people to continue to ignore the war’s mounting costs. As a result, upcoming drafts will be far more regular and focused than the first partial mobilization order seen this year. Those drafted in the future will feel alone and helpless in the face of the state apparatus, while those who are not will feel ignored and neglected. Technocrats have ensured that future draftees will be better equipped for future offensives in Ukraine, despite its permanent occupation on the Kremlin’s agenda.
So with this, Russians feel that they’re ready to launch another all-out attack despite its creeping challenges within its ranks.
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