By Paul Goble
There is going to be a gap in time between Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization and the deployment of additional Russian troops in Ukraine, Vladislav Inozemtsev says. And Kyiv certainly won’t wait until these forces arrive before taking new actions on its own.
As a result, the Russian commentator says, the coming days are becoming unpredictable in ways that may bring new dangers to the Russian troops already there, something Moscow may try to hide but almost certainly won’t succeed in doing so (gordonua.com/blogs/vladislav-inozemcev/v-blizhayshee-vremya-situaciya-mozhet-stat-nepredskazuemoy-vsu-ne-budut-z).
Another Ukrainian offensive, especially if it is as successful as the last one, not only will compound Moscow’s difficulties in rounding up the reservists it wants to deploy there but also will lead more Russians in the elite to ask questions about the war and Putin’s fitful and anything but successful stewardship of it.
At the very least, Inozemtsev continues, “for at least the entire month of October, the positions of Russian troops in Ukraine which will overnight turn into the state borers of the Russian Federation [at least in Moscow’s imagination] will be guarded by an exhausted army along a front more than 1000 kilometers long.”
That means that in the coming weeks, Putin will ever more often threaten Ukraine with a nuclear strike, especially since he will argue that any Ukrainian offensive now constitutes “an existential threat to Russia” in its new borders.
Meanwhile, the analyst says, “the Ukrainian command won’t wait for Russian reserves to be brought up and therefore that we are entering a period when the situation may develop in unpredictable ways, all the more so since it is now obvious Putin doesn’t care how many tens or hundreds of thousands must die for him to remain in the Kremlin for a few more months.”
According to Inozemtsev, Putin’s time horizon has shortened and he can no longer be realistically thinking anymore that he will be there for years.