Having announced partial mobilization in our country since September 21, President Vladimir Putin thus, in fact, he admitted that for the whole seven months that “special operation Z” rumbles, claiming thousands of lives on both sides of the front, the leadership of our state was in captivity of dangerous illusions.
Moscow, definitely afraid, first of all, of internal political consequences, dragged on until the last moment with the recognition of the obvious fact that almost half the world is fighting against us in Ukraine with the most decisive and disastrous goals for Russia. Moreover, it is the most technologically and militarily developed half of it.
For too long we have tried to put on a reassuring air for our fellow citizens that nothing special is happening in Ukraine. So, some kind of special operation not prescribed in any of our laws. Which, they say, is not led by the whole people, but only by a small part of their army and the National Guard. Kind of like it was in both wars in Chechnya. Or in the armed conflict in Georgia, better known as the “five-day war 08.08.08”.
But what can I say: just three days ago (September 19), at a press conference as part of the Samarkand summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Putin himself said things that are directly opposite to the decree he signed on September 21.
Namely: “The plan is not subject to adjustment. The General Staff makes operational decisions in the course of the operation, something is considered a key, main goal. And the main goal is the liberation of the entire territory of Donbass… Our offensive operations in Donbass do not stop, they continue. They are moving at a slow pace, but consistently, gradually, the Russian army is occupying new and new territories. I draw your attention, we are not fighting with a full army, we are fighting only part of the Russian army, only a contract part. But, of course, this is connected with certain parameters of personnel and so on. Therefore, we are not in a hurry in this part. But by and large, there are no changes. The General Staff considers something important, something secondary. But the main task remains unchanged, and it is being implemented.”
In fact, from the very beginning in Ukraine, things did not go so well at all. Almost everything that today the collective West has been able to put up against us, it put up a long time ago. In addition, Kyiv itself, within its own country, has long sent “under arms” everyone it could reach. And for the rest, just in case, he closed all possibilities to hide from mobilization abroad.
And we, looking dumbfounded for months at what everything was going to in the war zone, continued to mumble something indistinctly, that, they say, everything is going according to a predetermined plan. As a result, in reality, the front in Ukraine has long stood almost dead. Local battles for individual villages and district centers, by and large, do not solve anything in this battle. Shells and rockets both fell on Donbass until February and continue to fall, killing women and children.
Even worse. Our strategic initiative was lost in early September during the Battle of Kharkov. Now it is not us, but the enemy who decides where it is more convenient and faster for him to break through the Russian defenses. And we are only trying to guess in which direction and by what forces the next enemy breakthrough is being prepared to the operational, if not even to the strategic depth.
In such an environment, the Kremlin really needed to decide on something urgently. Inside your own country – first of all.
The partial mobilization announced in the country became evidence of this decisiveness that finally came at the top of Russia. According to the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoiguto begin with, it is proposed to replenish the army ranks with 300 thousand soldiers and reserve officers. Not so much, considering that, according to the Minister of Defense, our country simply has a “huge mobilization reserve” – about 25 million people. Thus, starting from this week, a little more than one percent of this number will have to be put into operation.
Why was it decided to limit ourselves to 300,000 reinforcements, if in the combat zone and in its immediate rear areas we are confronted by at least a millionth well-functioning, trained and well-armed military organization by half of the world? Will these 300 thousand at the front be enough for us to radically turn the tide?
Not sure. It is possible that Kyiv has done this for a long time, and we still have more than one wave of call-up of storekeepers. And so far we are talking about 300 thousand because they are no longer able to simultaneously accept numerous training grounds and training centers of military districts and fleets for the emergency restoration of the combat skills of former servicemen who have long left the ranks.
In addition, there are suspicions that even in the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces they fear that even with 300,000 mobilized people our military registration and enlistment offices may not be able to cope. In which, after the sad memory of the “Serdyukov” reforms, by 2009, instead of acting officers, in the majority, almost exclusively ladies of pre-retirement and even retirement age remained to work. And the military commissars in the field, the Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov by his order No. 520 of October 13, 2008, he made them civil servants. That sharply lowered their prestige and material support.
A little later, in 2011, Serdyukov disbanded the 8th Central Officer Orders of the Red Star advanced training courses for officers of the mobilization bodies of the Armed Forces, created back in the Soviet Union after the Great Patriotic War in Saratov, as unnecessary.
Only in 2019, Shoigu tried to correct at least some of the mistakes of his predecessor in the country’s mobilization preparation. He returned officer ranks to some heads of military commissariats. But is it enough that has already been done so that today the most important links of the country’s military organization simply do not choke in the many thousands of streams of hitherto peaceful citizens called to the front in a fire order?
Meanwhile, according to some authoritative military experts, in order to defeat Ukraine and NATO allied to it purely militarily, fighting Russian divisions, brigades and regiments in the special operation zone require at least twice as many people as those referred to in today’s decree president. This is just for starters. And if what is happening today in Ukraine is for years?
Then it turns out that in reality we are only facing the first wave of partial mobilization. There will be others to follow. How many such waves will there be? Nobody knows for sure. Neither in the General Staff, nor, I suspect, in the Kremlin.
Much, I believe, depends on how the West will react to the sudden slipping of the obviously stale epic “Ilya Muromets” from the all-Russian furnace. It might even tremble. How he trembled when our special operation in Ukraine had just begun at the end of February.
Then, if you have not forgotten, foreign embassies quickly pulled in strings from Kyiv closer to their own borders. Then, definitely with the blessing of NATO, our talks between Moscow and the Ukrainian leadership began.
Did they end up with nothing? Yes. But probably only because we almost immediately, back in the spring, slowed down a lot with the manifestation of our own extreme determination in Ukraine. And they began to drown its remnants in the arguments that, allegedly, even without that, the Kremlin “everything is going according to plan.”
Today, even for our last baker or janitor, this is no longer funny at all. Therefore, throughout Russia, the command familiar to any soldier’s ear rolled: “Stand!”.
And in conclusion, a dialogue from Sholokhov’s story “They Fought for the Motherland” that sounds like a parting word to all of us today, which, in my opinion, is memorable to many. There, if you haven’t forgotten, Private Lopatin, an old woman retreating to the Don with his regiment in 1942, from the farm left by our army to the Nazis, fires like this: they were not allowed to the bases either. She would bless her with a stick across her forehead and say with her motherly word: “We started to fight – so fight, damned ones, as you should, do not drag your opponent along with you across the whole state, do not shame your old mother in front of people!”
Personally, I have nothing to add to these great words.