According to Russian sources and Western officials, Vladimir Putin is ready to declare a full-scale war on Ukraine after preventing the media from calling his country’s invasion a “war”.
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Vladimir Putin will declare a full-scale war on Ukraine, allowing for a mass mobilization by Russians to unleash “revenge” for a stuttering invasion, Russian sources and Western officials say.
When tanks rolled into Ukraine in late February, Putin called it a “special operation” and even banned Russian media from using the word “war.”
But more than two months later, the offensive has stalled, and army chiefs are believed to want it now labeled a war that would allow for mass mobilization.
“The military is outraged that the attack on Kyiv failed,” a source close to the Russian military told The Telegraph.
“People in the army seek revenge for past failures and want to go further in Ukraine. It seems their calls are being heard.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Thursday that Putin is expected to announce a general mobilization of the Russian people within weeks to offset military losses.
“He will probably explain … that we are now at war with the Nazis of the world and that we must mobilize the Russian people en masse,” he said.
The announcement could be added on May 9, when Russia celebrates the Soviet Army’s victory over Nazi Germany.
The Kremlin has typically showered the armed forces with money and praise while rattling sabers at every opportunity — in part to make up for the humiliating military campaigns of recent decades, including in Afghanistan and Chechnya.
Reinforced forces now appear frustrated with a reduced offensive in eastern Ukraine, when Moscow once looked set to take Kyiv in the early days of the war.
Igor Girkin, a retired military intelligence officer who led separatist forces in eastern Ukraine before being recalled to Moscow in 2014, has provided an insight into the thinking of ordinary Russian officers over the years.
Girkin, known for his rabid anti-Ukraine views, has lashed out at the Kremlin online for being too soft on Ukraine.
After rolling out a list of Moscow’s failings – from the sinking of its Black Sea Fleet flagship to “acts of sabotage” against infrastructure inside Russia – he asked, “What else has to happen before the midgets in the Kremlin realize they’re in for a total.” , hard war and begin to act accordingly?”
Alexander Arutyunov, a retired Russian commando and typically one of the country’s most popular pro-Kremlin bloggers, has turned into another voice of discontent.
“Vladimir Vladimirovich, can you please make up your mind: do we fight or do we play around?” he asked in an emotional video. He questioned why Russia has not yet turned Ukraine’s airfields into “lunar craters.”
A total war declaration on Ukraine would entail two things that the Kremlin has so far tried to avoid: martial law and mass mobilization.
Mobilization would mean that Russia would have to call up reservists and retain conscripts beyond their year-long tenure, a politically difficult decision. Martial law would close the country’s borders and nationalize parts of the economy, which is already hanging by a thread.
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Eager to maintain some semblance of normality in Russia amid crippling Western sanctions, Putin ordered his cabinet to provide financial aid to families and businesses.
Liberal economists in the Kremlin’s service have so far failed to bring Russia’s once-buoyant market economy into a state of war, including fending off attempts to nationalize Western companies.
But one of Putin’s closest advisers, in a rare public intervention this week, advocated bringing the economy to a halt.
Nikolai Patrushev, chairman of the Russian Security Council, criticized the “fascination of entrepreneurs for market mechanisms” and called for a self-sufficient economy.
Russia is also a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes several other former Soviet states. As with NATO, its charter states that aggression against one member should be perceived as aggression against the bloc as a whole – and there could be a joint military response if Putin said Ukraine or the West would attack Russia.
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When violent unrest broke out in Kazakhstan in January of this year, the CSTO declared its readiness to send a joint peacekeeping mission there.
But other members don’t have a military anywhere near the size of Moscow’s.
At the same time, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, General Gerasimov, the head of the Russian army, said he had arrived in eastern Ukraine.
Former Major General Rupert Jones, commander of all operations on British territory, told The Telegraph that this would be a surprising move and show Putin’s growing isolation.
“This smacks of further desperation,” he said, adding that the appointment could be a “precursor” to Putin’s May 9 call for a declaration of war.
“Putin worked with Gerasimov for a very long time,” Major General Jones said.
“But at the critical moment, Putin doesn’t feel that he needs his strategic commander in Moscow to advise him. There’s something quite interesting about this dynamic, it reinforces (the idea of) Putin’s isolation.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/vladimir-putin-declare-out-war-26837343 Vladimir Putin on the verge of 'declaring all-out war on Ukraine in revenge for botched invasion' - World News