While it was expected that Russian President Vladimir Putin would make the last counterattack, he put forward quite extreme measures of nuclear threats and mobilized a military force of 300,000. Russia is forcefully holding votes to annex parts of Ukraine into Russia in the territories currently under its occupation. The country has also threatened to use nuclear weapons if its main territory is invaded. By announcing part of Ukraine as Russian territory through votes, it will obtain a pretext to use nuclear weapons.
From the beginning of the war, Russia misjudged the size of the military force needed. However, it has refrained from issuing mobilization orders, which can lead to a significant fall in President Putin’s approval rating. While it is not statistically collected, the Russian people’s dissatisfaction and anxiety about the dictator will grow as more people are sacrificed in the war despite some results.
How many people will be deployed to actual battlefields even with an order to mobilize 300,000? As more people are mobilized, the country’s military equipment, firepower, and logistical support that have already reached limits will become poorer, and the war will resemble those of Joseph Stalin. Therefore, a mobilization order implies the beginning of President Putin’s fall, and it was believed that Putin could not execute the order.
However, a mobilization order was issued. Perhaps, the president wants to convey that he can take any irrational actions. Wars themselves are irrational choices and the worst option of all solutions. Ironically, that is the reason why how to conduct a war and its process, strategy, and tactics should be based on the most rational and delicate judgment and actions.
However, as wars that take away people’s lives are bound to be overwhelmed with anger and anxiety, how to carry out wars loses rationality. “I can do anything” is the last resort of a dictator. If it is a calculated threat, President Putin might be hoping for premature attacks by the Ukrainian forces that are not fully prepared yet. It might be his strategy to damage the Ukrainian forces again and convince Ukraine to give up with a threat that he can do anything if the war is dragged on for longer. Would it be successful, though?