Russia: Putin's end 'coming much faster' says Tack
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As the news breaks that Russia is gearing up for a second mobilisation of 500,000 to 700,000 troops according to Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs, disquiet is reportedly continuing to grow in Russia. While this signals that the war is no nearer an end as Russia is thought to be gearing up for more, Vladimir Putin’s “special operation” is not going as he had hoped. The former director-general of the Royal United Services Institute, Professor Michael Clarke, has said that the war will be the end of Putin – whether that be in a few months or years.
Mr Gerashchenko said in a tweet, posted on November 22, that Russia is now preparing for the second wave of mobilisation as the initial 300,000 drafted are already “killed, wounded or demoralised”.
He wrote: “Russians are starting to be quietly unhappy about authorities – they can’t understand losses in the praised army.”
Similarly, Professor Clarke, speaking to Times Radio last month, said internal opposition is building in Russia.
However, he noted that it is difficult to garner a full understanding of it as there is no “outlet for popular opposition”.
Professor Clarke said: “We know there’s a great deal of disquiet building up particularly because of mobilisation because it’s beginning to affect lots of communities now, particularly outside Moscow and Petersburg.”
According to the US official Ukraine War data assessment, there have been more than 100,000 Russian soldiers killed and wounded. It is believed this figure is similar amongst Ukrainian soldiers.
In September, Putin announced that mobilisation would be taking place following a series of setbacks with the initial draft target of 300,000 reportedly being met towards the end of October.
But complaints have been emerging from the frontline in Ukraine of lack of leadership, tactics which lead to many casualties, lack of training and payments, according to a CNN report.
The “very aggressive” recruitment process led to some unusual anti-war protests in Russia with military-aged men fleeing to Turkey and nearby countries to avoid being called up.
Homeless men were even being drafted to increase the Russian manpower with it being reported that men were being grabbed from shelters, restaurants and workplaces to go and fight.
Despite the disquiet in Russia seemingly building, Professor Clarke has said there is “no way for it to come through”. While growing unrest is a challenge, he believes it is only when the security services turn against Putin that will he be removed from power.
He continued: “Ultimately, I’ve always been convinced that this will finish Putin; this war will finish him. But whether it finishes him in two or three months’ time, or two or three years’ time, there’s no way of telling.”
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He continued: “Because ultimately only when the security services turn on him – the military and security services being blamed for everything going wrong – then he is finished. And then the popular discontent will come through. But it won’t be driven by popular discontent.”
In October, President Joe Biden was briefed by US Intelligence that a member of Putin’s inner circle had expressed his disagreement with the Russian leader over the war in Ukraine. Additionally, Mikhail Zygar, editor-in-chief of Russia’s TV Rain, told CNN that Putin’s colleagues know he is “close to defeat”.
Professor Clarke continued: “We just don’t know how that may play out because Russian politics has become ever more obscure, even in the last six months.
“We know far, far less about what’s going on inside the Kremlin or inside any community in Russia than we did this time last year.”
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