Russia: Putin: A decision justified with fallacies | International

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Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his flight forward. The head of the Kremlin is trying to untangle the situation on the front in Ukraine, where his troops are losing ground due to the Russian counteroffensive, with what he has called “partial mobilization.” The Russian government will mobilize 300,000 people, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. In another enormously warmongering and furious speech, like the one that launched the full-scale war in Ukraine on February 24, in which he once again calls his neighbor a “neo-Nazi” and makes nuclear threats against the West, Putin assures that this mobilization will affect to people in the reserves or with military experience. However, the decree, which has one of the points (the seventh) hidden as confidential information, only speaks of citizens and does not determine which population groups it affects. It leaves the recruitment and the responsibility of joining the Russian ranks to officials in the regions, which opens the door to forced recruitment in certain places.

Putin once again justifies his decision with fallacies. The 69-year-old Russian leader assures that it is necessary to guarantee the holding of what he calls “referendums” in the occupied territories in Ukraine to annex Russia: in the areas of Lugansk and Donetsk managed for years by the Kremlin through of the pro-Russian separatists and the newly conquered territory and also in the occupied parts of southern Ukraine, Zaporizhia and Kherson. The votes, which are going to be held in a hurry, do not meet international standards and are being held not only with a military presence on the ground but in a country at war. The masks of the Russian regime completely fall, which no longer hides behind the supposed intention of citizens to live in an “independent republic” and shows that for years its actions have always tried to absorb Ukraine, a country that for Putin is ” fictitious” and that has obsessed him for years.

A woman follows Putin’s speech on television this Wednesday in Moscow.Photo: EFE | Video: Reuters

With the “referendums” of annexation to Russia, Putin aims to emphasize that the fighting and the Ukrainian counteroffensive to recover its own territory is an attack against Russia itself. And that the West may make it a condition for the use of the weapons it provides to kyiv not to attack those areas, such as the fact that they have not provided Ukraine with long-distance weapons that could reach (intentionally or not) Russia. But Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Lugansk will not be recognized by the international community as part of Russia, just as only those countries with very close ties (or dependents) with the Kremlin have declared that the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed in 2014, it is part of Russia.

Image of the televised broadcast of Vladimir Putin’s address to the nation, this Wednesday. AP

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Putin, who has been in power for more than two decades and is increasingly out of touch with reality in a country governed by its security apparatus, believes that he can unravel the war by amassing more and more boots on the ground, without taking into account the lack of training, the low quality of Russian weapons and their shortcomings. Nor does he consider the lack of motivation to fight in the neighboring country against those who defend their home and are willing to fight with everything within their reach as a variable; including Western aid.

Years ago, especially in winter, Muscovites laughed at a joke that there are only three ways out of depression: Vnukovo, Domodedovo and Sheremetevo (the capital’s airports). This Wednesday, in the networks, it was pointed out that the way to escape recruitment is age (having exceeded the maximum for the Army), health problems or having a sentence to enter jail. With the land borders of the Baltic countries closed to most Russians and the annulment of numerous European visas, the possibilities of escaping this mobilization by leaving the country are complicated: flights to the few countries that can still be reached directly from Russia they are practically out of stock or at prohibitive prices.

The head of the Kremlin has once again waved the nuclear threat against the West in words that seem taken from another century and has said that he will use “all available measures” against a West that “wants to destroy Russia”, including nuclear means — “I am not lying “, has said-. Putin’s words could be considered harsh, but the large-scale war has shown that the decisions of the Russian leader cannot be read with rational patterns. Many analysts believed that a full-scale invasion was impossible because the number of troops mobilized in winter would not be able to conquer the entire country and their weaponry was not sophisticated enough. On February 24, Putin ordered to attack Ukraine from three flanks and by land, sea and air.

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