Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call-up of reserves seems to have added a new criticism to the repeated laundry list of the supposed weakness of Russia’s military capabilities since the start of the war with Ukraine.
The issue concerns more than just the battlefield. There are raised eyebrows about how Moscow’s dynamics are affected by this. The “partial mobilization” announcement being made in the Kremlin at the end of an hours-long stressful discussion – that was left until the morning – further strengthens claims.
Additionally, there are reports that “the demonstrations in various cities of the world, and the lack of room left on international flights – it is said flights to Istanbul reached 100,000 TL (about $5400) – shows now everyone is equally in favor of the war."
It can be said that fears the war will spread and intensify encouraged the developments. Putin’s “I’m not bluffing” statement, followed by the terrifying contribution of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s statement, “At this point, we are really at war with the collective West, with NATO,” and Security Council Deputy Chair Dmitry Medvedev’s statement, “We may use nuclear weapons to protect the lands that will join with the referendum” cannot be denied.
Experts on the subject have not yet changed their opinion that Russia will not lose the war, or rather, “it cannot lose the war.” However, this is another element that is heightening stress. According to some, conventional incapacity is the factor intensifying the nightmare that nuclear weapons may be used on the front.
There are two dimensions to this. Western politicians and interpreters are saying that neither of the parties involved can dare do this, that everyone knows the consequences. Yet, there are also those who are saying there is an active Western mind that wants/is waiting for Russia to do this.
There is an atmosphere since former U.S. President Donald Trump’s era that nuclear weapons, especially the tactical ones, can be used in limitation. This was repeated so many times that it seems nobody will be surprised by their use. War is already a highly followed subject. Add to it the nuclear threat, the ratings will be off the charts.
However, as it is indirectly accepted that the warring sides and their allies have a plan, the belief that it will not reach the extent of nuclear tumult is stronger. Yet, even the exaggerated figures aside, at least 50,000 people, between 80,000-100,000 people already lost their lives. It seems nobody other than Türkiye cares. Hence, who knows if anyone will be upset over a nuclear massacre?
In other words, an atrocity that was long thought “impossible” has already happened. In fact, in the heart of Europe. It was also said that “gaining land through the use of force was over,” but that is ongoing as well.
Up to this point, you read in a different language a summary of the reports, readings and highlights explaining Russia’s latest “setback” in the Ukraine crisis, which appeared especially in Western media as well as our national media.
But there is real life as well.
As for the “plan,” the expectation that Russia will join the areas it took in Ukraine to its “lands” after a referendum, reveals the truth that any attack targeting these areas from now on – “homeland” now in Putin’s words – will be considered an attack on Russia.
Statements that only a small portion (3,000) from among a 300,000-strong new force will be tasked on the front upon the mobilization decision, and they will be used as “forces” on the new homeland territory, is a prelude to forcing the West to digest the taken land. This is the meaning behind both the nuclear discourse and the mobilization. Also, this is the interpretation of the West’s reaction to these two stances. There is a step tying their hands.
Add to this the Kyiv administration's claim that the struggle will continue until the lost lands will be recovered – including Crimea – the West has a new dilemma along with all the existing dilemmas.
Now, when the referendum is concluded and accepted by Russia, and the areas in question are added to the “homeland,” the matter will be completely over. There is no return, and those who have a problem with this will have 300,000 troops and nuclear weapons waiting for them. (When Putin, Shoigu, and Medvedev were having this conversation, the Russian defense military was presenting the latest “Sarmat” to the world public. “Sarmat ICBM carries most advanced maneuverable warheads-designer,” 22/09, TASS.)
In brief, the referendum and areas joining Russia create a new political and geopolitical reality. The curtain up to this point closes on Sept. 28.
Yet, what is the U.S. reaction to this?
Pentagon: “The U.S. will certainly not recognize the referendum results. Our support for Ukraine will not change. We, along with our partners, will continue to provide the help necessary to protect Ukraine’s lands.”
Yes! As you just read, Russia already said it is “at war with NATO, in other words, with the U.S.” But neither of them is on the ground, and we will not see them there either! Whether they will attack those areas – which were the areas of war up until now – after the referendum will constitute a major problem.
This is the new reality.
There is a difference in terms of fully understanding what is happening between the withdrawal we mentioned at the start, the mobilization announcement, the Kremlin’s balances, the escape from Russia, demonstrations, and the new reality.
A shift in regard to the energy crisis, economic stagnation/loss, the disruptions in supply chains, excessive military spending, political fluctuations, the ongoing demonstrations, support for the war, and unwillingness in adhering to U.S. demands observed in all European countries.