April 1, 2023

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Key issues with Putin’s mandated “partial mobilization.”

Vladimir Putin during his address to the Russian nation, Wednesday September 21. Sputnik / Reuters

Decryption – During a much-anticipated speech on Russian television, the Kremlin leader announced the mobilization of Russian reserves. In reality, only 300,000 men would be affected, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

The Russian people feared general mobilization, and Vladimir Putin attracted partial mobilization. In a much-anticipated speech, It was scheduled to take place on the evening of Tuesday 20 September but was finally aired the following morningThe head of the Kremlin”It is considered necessary to support the Ministry of Defense’s proposal for partial mobilization of reserve civilians».

The Russian president said he would take such a step “to lean on Voting Process” Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces on Tuesday, which will be held from September 23 to 27. “An order for partial mobilization was signed“and come into force”Today“, Vladimir Putin, throughout his speech, carefully avoided using the word “war”. On the other hand, the head of state emphasized the fact “We are only talking about partial mobilizationAnd not a mass mobilization as people fear.

A significant difference between partial and general mobilization

The difference between the two measurements is indeed significant. In addition to the 180 to 200,000 conventional troops stationed in Ukraine, a general mobilization would have given Russia the opportunity to mobilize its two million reservists and its 250,000 conscripts. That is a theoretical total of 2.5 million men. As a reminder, conscription refers to compulsory and one-year military service in Russia for young people between the ages of 18 and 27. Instead, those who book reservations are enlisted voluntarily.

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Partial mobilization precisely allows Russia to register only the latter, which means a total of two million men. But in fact, Vladimir Putin pointed out “Those who have already worked (…) and have relevant experiencewill be called During a televised interview, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu clarified the Russian president’s announcement. only”300,000 pre-bookers will be invited», that is, less than a quarter of the Russian reserves. The minister estimated that this figure was only 1% of the total population of 25 million. In these proportions he may have included all men of armed age between 18 and 65, and not only those engaged in various ranks in the army.

The decree, signed by Vladimir Putin, also states that regional governors will decide who and how many will be sent to the front. nearby PicaroCarol Grimaud-Potter, a geopolitical scientist specializing in Russia, believes that this mobilization can only affect “Border regions of Ukraine».

A precise legal framework

Broadly, the text implies that the invited reservationists will be of the same status and the same.Salary Levelthan conventional forces. Three cases may exempt conscripts: their age, their health, or imprisonment. New amendments voted in the Duma on Tuesday also severely tighten the legal framework for soldiers (regular and mobilized) in wartime. Therefore, those who fail to appear will be sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison. Abandonment or refusal to obey shall be punished with the same penalty. “The last time such arrangements were made was during World War II, under the leadership of Stalin” recalls Carol Grimaud-Potter. In addition, “Entry of foreigners will be relaxed, opening the way for mercenaries“, adds the expert.

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One word, however, was missing from Vladimir Putin’s speech: martial law. gold,”According to the Russian constitution, martial law must mandate a general or partial demobilization“, the geopolitical scientist underlines. It may be decreed in the coming hours within the regions involved in the mobilization. With many consequences for the public as well: the country’s economy “War economy“and”Border controls will be tightened“says Carol Grimaud-Potter. Thus, residents of the affected areas “Can no longer leave the territory».

A difficult decision for the Russian people

In recent months, many young Russians have actually fled in anticipation of the threat of a general mobilization. Part of the Russian people, on the other handReady to welcome» Such action fueled by militant and anti-Western rhetoric. “Patriotism, sense of sacrifice and capacity for resilience will be awakened“says Carol Grimaud-Potter. At the same time, “This Russian society, already in a very fearful state, will undoubtedly suffer major fractures: a whole part of the Russian population will say nothing, but will not recognize.“, she adds. If partial mobilization is undoubtedly more difficult for the Russian people to mobilize than a general mobilization, the situation remains delicate.Because they don’t know whether they will be called or not».

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