The announced partial mobilization in Russia baffles me a bit.
Was it needed from a practical view ? Certainly, for quite some time even. The war in Ukraine has shown clear signs it couldn’t be concluded in Russia’s terms with the forces involved there. Forces estimated, when we speak about Russian military proper, at between 80 and 150 thousands. Which is, obviously, a small number, insufficient to conquer, hold and win.
But, if it was needed, why wait, why turn a setback (the south of Kharkov Ukrainian offensive) into a pretext you didn’t really need, since the Russian people could very well understand the rationale behind asking for more troops on the ground.
The referenda in the 4 administrative regions and the tacit acceptance from Russia’s most important allies create the impression this was a carefully orchestrated move.
Alright, but why ? Russia may be content to have China and others not objecting, but would have changed anything if they were ?
Strictly from an Ukraine-Russia military confrontation (throwing in the Western backing also) it has no relevance what others think on the matter and no amount of diplomatic craftmanship could remove the uncertainty regarding a third party’s reactions.
If Russia, once it decided to invade, acts like extraneous circumstances could decisively impede its determination to achieve the goals it set, then we can say it would have been better not to invade at all.
The only reason why Russia is inclined to act so carefully is the same strategic reason that ultimately motivated the decision to invade in the first place: to confront the West before it is too late and to pick the battle on more favorable grounds.
Nevertheless, the 300 thousands (300 strangely resonates with the Thermopylae mythic number of Spartans – just saying) mobilization should be seen as an escalation in the war with the collective West.
It may be looked upon, arguably, as a response to the continuous, incremental Western buildup in Ukraine, anyhow it is a slide towards more dangerous waters and probably this is why Russia hesitated so much.
The 300 thousands are, and time will tell if I’m right, in all respects, a new army, only the beginning of more to come. They will be trained and equipped and, gradually, turned into professional soldiers. The 300 thousands are there to stay.
The 300 thousands signal the beginning of a new era where a more militaristic ethos will embrace the Russian society.
If anything, the Russian leadership was shaping the Russian society for the times to come using the Ukrainian battleground as an exemplary show case.
We can wait for a Western reply in kind, but we all know the West has been dried out.
In this context, the rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons could be interpreted as having more to do with Western expanding impotence in most of the fields, it is a mere projection of what the sickened, Bolton-McCain like minds, who massively populate the omnipresent swamps (to include the fetid EU also) think about without being utterly horrified.
Russia is just preparing, yet the clock moved closer to the 12th hour.