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The announced mobilization in Russia is “a tragedy, first of all, for the Russian people” and also a result of the “inability of the professional army” of Russia, Sergiy Nikiforov, press secretary of Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, said today in a comment to the Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne.
Nikiforov predicted that the Russian army will not be able to train and equip the newly mobilized soldiers, just as it failed to prepare its troops at the beginning of the invasion.
According to Nikiforov, 300,000 soldiers, who only “yesterday were inexperienced conscripts,” will be sent where even “bandits”. or “mercenaries” have failed.
The mobilization, he said, is the admission of the fact that the Russian professional army is not capable of fulfilling any objectives in Ukraine.
“The Russian authorities are going to compensate for this failure by increasing the levels of violence and repression against their own people,” said Nikiforov, who added that the sooner it ends, the fewer “Russian sons” they will leave to die on the battlefield in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, an advisor to the head of the Presidential Office in Ukraine, Olexiy Arestovich, said Wednesday that the partial mobilization, announced by Vladimir Putin, means that Russia understands that it has no potential to “create new military units.”
According to him, the called-up reservists will be used to fill gaps in existing units.
Arestovich sees this as a sign that the Russian army’s losses “are more than huge,” definitely higher than 100,000 dead and wounded and “most likely closer to 150,000.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said today that the Russian army lost 5,937 soldiers in Ukraine, while 90 % of the wounded eventually returned to their units.
According to Arestovich, the “partial” mobilization in Russia, as well as the so-called “referendums” in the occupied territories of Ukraine, will only lead to a more rapid “collapse and revolution” in Russia.
In his opinion, mobilization would break the informal “social contract”, which is at the basis of Putin’s regime and stipulates that the majority of Russians will only watch the war on their “TV screens”.
Arestovich points to the absence of infrastructure for mobilization, firstly, the low number of officers needed to prepare new soldiers for combat. The lack of motivation, as well as those who are against the war, who will soon receive weapons, could make these soldiers a threat to Putin’s grip on power.
These effects will be exacerbated by the reaction of Ukraine’s partners, which will likely include more arms deliveries and more sanctions against Russia, Arestovich says.
He also dismisses fears of Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons, “Why would it call for a mobilization, if it was preparing to employ nuclear weapons?”
All in all, these decisions are a “great gift” to Ukrainians because they are likely to end the war faster by increasing the likelihood of a civil war in Russia, Arestovich believes.
Eventually, he says, it will change nothing for Ukrainians who “will continue to fight, but even more angrily.”