Russia secretly mobilizes military as Kremlin fears recruitment backlash
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Russian authorities are involved in a covert mobilization campaign, following speculation that President Vladimir Putin would use Victory Day celebrations on May 9 to announce a mass mobilization.

The Russian president did not, as predicted, use the patriotic fervor of World War II triumph celebrations to declare war, which would have given him justification for widespread recruitment to help bolster troop losses in his invasion of Ukraine. By maintaining that the war is a “special military operation”, Russia is not technically at war and therefore volunteer soldiers can resign and recruits, in theory, cannot be sent to Ukraine. However, there are growing reports of joint efforts to get the Russians to enlist in the armed forces, according to Newsweek magazine this Tuesday.

On May 13, the Russian BBC reported that, in recent weeks, the military registration and enlistment offices had sent “subpoenas” to the men. Since the beginning of March, thousands of vacancies for military contractors have been posted on the civilian job search websites ‘HeadHunter’ and ‘SuperJob’. Russian government institutions across the country are recruiting staff for “wartime mobilization specialists”. An announcement by the Department of Internal Affairs of the Northwest district of Moscow, published on April 29, called for candidates to carry out a series of tasks – these included developing and adjusting “mobilization planning documents” and implementing “special decisions of federal executive bodies”. in terms of readiness for mobilization and mobilization training”.

While the Kremlin has repeatedly denied mass mobilization plans, experts have pointed to a manpower shortage threatening Putin’s campaign. Rob Lee, a military analyst, assured that Putin understands that the mobilization would be “very unpopular” and that Russia can continue the current operation for the time being, “but it cannot do this forever”.

However, any move to declare war and mobilize could pose other problems for Putin. Evgenia Albats, the editor of the independent Russian publication The New Times, pointed out that Putin “understands that for Russians this whole idea of ​​a war is very difficult to understand”. “We lost 27 million people in World War II, so for the Russians, it could be a war of defense, not a war of conquest,” she explained. “Mobilization is a deadly step for Putin, so I really doubt he will do it.”

Glen Grant, a senior defense expert at the Baltic Security Foundation think tank, which has advised Ukraine on its military reform, recalled that Putin needs more manpower. “It is a silent mobilization at the moment. They’re mobilizing but they’re not saying they’re doing it,” he explained. “My feeling is that they are going to fully mobilize because everything is going to fall apart. They have no ability to train people. They will do it silently at the rate they can afford.”

Source: With Agencies

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