By Paul Goble
Anatoly Nesmiyan, who blogs under the screen name “El Murid,” says that Putin is putting in place “a mechanism for conducting permanent war since his regime cannot exist in a peaceful form” and must find enemies in order to justify the kind of rule the Kremlin leader prefers in Russia.
The Putin government, he continues, “does not have and will never have any project of development. It can exist only in a mobilized format which is secured by foreign warns and domestic terror. Its task consists in ‘optimizing’ wars of conquest and aggression and balance their intensity with its capacity to throw into them the necessary cannon fodder.”
For Putin and his team, it makes no difference who the enemy to be fought is, El Murid argues. Any war with any neighbor requires the setting up of a propaganda machine and repressive measures; and so today, Ukraine can serve the role as the enemy but tomorrow it could be someone else entirely (publizist.ru/blogs/113683/44694/-).
His comments are prompted by the inadvertent admission of a Moscow military commissar that Russia will return to a two-year draft rather than a one-year one as now and that the mobilization which the Kremlin has said is over has in fact only been suspended, an indication that it can be started up again at any time.
(Mikhail Fotin’s efforts to disavow his words have only underscored their accuracy. He has claimed that his remarks were from two years ago, even though they included references to Finland and Sweden joining NATO. If the commissar knew that then, he should be head of the GRU rather than a mere military commissar, El Murid suggests.)
Moscow was forced to reduce the length of draftees’ time in uniform from two years to one in response to economic problems and budgetary stringency, but a year of service, the blogger points out, is “completely insufficient” to prepare a fully-trained soldier. It was only enough time to identify who could usefully become a contract soldier.
Those drafted for only one year were never ready to serve in combat, and that is one of the reasons they haven’t been sent in large numbers to hotspots. Not humanism as some in the regime claim, but lack of skills, according to military experts. Sent into battle without these skills, they are worse than useless.
The return to a two-year service period will “create a reserve of aggressive warriors especially as that reserve will be constantly refilled. In place of mobilization … a reserve will be established which will be prepared to support the standing and, what is the main thing, constantly fighting army.”