“I think the mobilization will not be publicly announced as a top-down order, because from Putin’s point of view it makes no political sense,” says Prof. Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski, political scientist, lecturer at the University of Lodz.
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May 9 is a symbolic date in Russian propaganda and Putin will try to achieve some semblance of victory, so as horrible as it sounds, conquering Mariupol with such an appearance, probably the only one available, can be. I don’t know if there is a part of the city that could be shown as “liberated” and not ruined, razed. If the army marched among the ruins of the streets, that would be quite a difficult message to politically dismiss, but Russian propaganda showed no such things. So if he underpins it with a narrative, it would be that “here are the effects of the criminal activities of the Ukrainian Nazis” – we have to take such a narrative into account. I think for lack of another symbol that the Russians could show off as something that could lay claim to their success, such an endeavor is conceivable for internal Russian use, because of course the outside world will see it as a dark grotesque
– predicts prof. Przemysław Żurawski aka Grajewski.
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When asked if the fact that Russian troops lost more soldiers than the Soviet Union during the war in Afghanistan would lead to Russia will stop the invasion, teacher. Przemysław Żurawski aka Grajewski Remarks:
First of all, these losses are not made known to the Russian public. Secondly, they relate more to people from the Russian provinces, they are not felt by people from Moscow or St. Petersburg – centers where a possible social revolt would have political significance. Therefore, Russia has arguably not yet reached the level one would expect of an effective, mass anti-war social response, despite the huge casualties compared to the Afghan or Chechen war. This is not yet the level that could trigger a political collapse in Russia.
The expert stresses that “Western standards of respect for human life should not apply to this”.
The life of Russian soldiers has no political significance for the Russian government and for public opinion, as I said – Głubinka will not rebel, the metropolises do not feel these losses.
Will Putin only mobilize in the provinces?
When asked if that means if Putin will realize mobilizationit’s only in the provinces, not in the big cities, explains the political scientist:
I think the mobilization will not be announced publicly as a top-down order, because from Putin’s point of view it makes no political sense – the mobilization of human resources in a state that is not governed by the law, can be carried out in a different way, and an official declaration of war and a universal mobilization create great political risks, also for Putin himself. And since it won’t be formally, of course, a method will be chosen that will minimize tensions in the major urban centers, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, which would create political problems, and will focus on attracting recruits where such problems arise, with lack of local potential, they will not be built, that is to say in the provinces.
The expert admits that he is skeptical of rumors that war and general mobilization will be officially declared.
I don’t quite see what political purpose Putin would take such a risk. But he’s been acting irrationally for a long time, so of course that can’t be completely ruled out. However, I would be surprised by another such serious strategic error, political this time, if war with Ukraine were officially declared and a general mobilization was announced
– he adds.
Asked what losses Russia would have to suffer to stop the invasion, Prof. Żurawski aka Grajewski replies:
I’m afraid it will take at least hundreds of thousands, not dozens of soldiers. Also the equipment – it is important. Russia, which will not be able to restore weapons systems, whether armored or airborne, naturally will not be able to carry out effective combat operations and then will probably order a strategic pause, containing something that will present itself as peace, and then of course – after restoring its military capabilities – will break it until it is itself permanently broken, that is, until it breaks the Russian imperialism as the basis of the Russian state. And remember that Russia knows no other form of state than the imperial one.