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Why Putin's 'Mass Mobilization' Trap Could Make Victory Impossible

Reports are circulating that Putin might use May 9, Russia's "Victory Day", to announce a mass mobilization of the war in Ukraine. That would be a huge escalation for what's still referred to as a "special military operation," and has so far mostly counted on recruits far from major population centers.

Why Putin's 'Mass Mobilization' Trap Could Make Victory Impossible

Russian President Vladimir Putin observing military manoeuvres in the Tsugol training range, Trans-Baikal Territory, in 2018.

Anna Akage

-Analysis-

The general ineffectiveness of the Russian army’s military capacities has been one of the biggest surprises of the invasion of Ukraine. Over the past two decades, the West has once again come to fear the Russian army that had been greatly expanded after the low moment at the end of the Cold War.

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But since the beginning of the Ukraine invasion, Russia, considered the world’s second most powerful military force, has been hampered by strategic and technical failures. There were early reports of Russian soldiers’ looting because of shortages of food and fuel, as well as poor troop morale.

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Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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