Politics 2023-09-15T04:50:45+03:00
Ukrainian news
Putin Wants To Accuse AFU Of "Attacking Russia." ISW Analysts Assess Plans For "Referendums"

Putin Wants To Accuse AFU Of "Attacking Russia." ISW Analysts Assess Plans For "Referendums"

Russian President Vladimir Putin, partial mobilization, military mobilization, mobilization in Russia, so-called referendum, forced mobilization, pseudo-referendum, ISW, Institute for the Study of War, mobilization of military, illegal referendum, annexation to Russia, annexation of occupied territories, fake referendum

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking the annexation of the occupied territories in order to deter the Ukrainian military's counteroffensive, declaring it an "attack on Russia."

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported this.

According to the Institute, the Kremlin will use the falsified results of fictitious referendums in the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Regions to illegally annex all parts of Ukraine occupied by Russia and, probably, will also declare the unoccupied parts of Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Regions as part of Russia as well.

The Kremlin's annexation plans are aimed primarily at domestic audiences; Putin is likely hoping to improve Russian troop formation capabilities by urging Russians to voluntarily go to war to "protect" Russia's newly claimed territories.

Putin and his advisers apparently realized that the current Russian forces were not enough to conquer Ukraine, and that efforts to quickly build an army reinforcement through voluntary mobilization were culminating without meeting the needs of the Russian military.

Thus, Putin probably creates legal and information conditions for improving the formation of the Russian army without resorting to expanded conscription, changing the balance of stick and carrot, which the Kremlin uses to stimulate voluntary conscription.

According to the ISW, Putin believes that he can "turn to Russian ethnonationalism and the defense of purportedly “Russian peoples” and claim to create additional volunteer forces.

He may try to rely on heightened rhetoric in part because the Kremlin cannot afford to incentivize recruits with a premium and perks. Therefore, Putin is introducing new and harsher punishments, trying to contain the risk of the collapse of Russian military units fighting in Ukraine and evading conscription in Russia.

On September 20, the Kremlin accelerated the adoption of a new law that codifies sharply increased penalties for desertion, refusal of conscription and disobedience. It also criminalizes surrender and makes it a crime punishable by ten years in prison.

However, this law does not introduce full-scale mobilization or wider conscription, nor does it carry out any preparatory measures for such events.

The Kremlin is taking measures to directly increase the formation of the armed forces by continuing voluntary self-mobilization and expanding its legal powers to deploy Russian conscripts already in the armed forces to fight in Ukraine.

Putin probably hopes that increasing self-mobilization and reprisals against detractors of Russian forces will allow him to capture the rest of Donetsk and protect the Russian-occupied parts of Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

“He is mistaken. Putin has neither the time nor the resources needed to generate effective combat power,” analysts at the Institute say.

But Putin is likely to wait to see if the effort succeeds before either escalating further or blaming the scapegoat for his defeat.

His most likely scapegoat is Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the Russian Defense Ministry.

According to the ISW, Putin probably also intends to deter Ukraine's counteroffensive by annexing occupied Ukrainian territory to portray Ukraine's struggle to liberate the occupied territories as an "attack on Russia."

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, on Wednesday morning, September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization. Putin made such a statement during an appeal to the Russians.

After that, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke on air, saying that Russia is not waging war with Ukraine, but with the "collective West."

According to Shoigu, to replenish the colossal losses of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, it was decided to mobilize 300,000 Russians.

Also, the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted a law on the introduction of the concepts of "mobilization" and "martial law" into the Criminal Code of Russia. Now Russia will be more severely punishing for desertion, failure to appear for service and voluntary surrender.