Russian nationalists and pro-war advocates have called on President Vladimir Putin to fully mobilize Russia for the war. This is reported by the US think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its daily report.
Former leader of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Igor Girkin, published a list of what he believed to be appropriate military and economic measures, such as forced conscription.
Girkin said the top priority was to refrain from using the term “special military operation”, to name the war as such and to define clear goals. His demands go beyond the Kremlin’s declared ambitions to conquer the Donbass.
Other Russian war analysts are less direct in their demands. For example, Russian military blogger Yuri Kotyenok writes that Russia “syrinized” the war in Ukraine by never naming specific deadlines or targets for its attack. Kotyenok is alluding to Russia’s protracted military operation in Syria. For more than seven years now, Russia has been involved in this conflict and supports the regime of ruler Bashar al-Assad.
The analysts of the ISW suspect that the explicit mention of the Syrian mission is intended to shape the narrative for a longer war by Russia in Ukraine. In view of the failed conquest of the entire Ukraine so far, Putin can save face more easily and make far-reaching decisions, writes the ISW.
For Putin, the assessments and demands of the military bloggers are quite delicate, as their statements can also be interpreted as criticism. Recently, according to the ISW, there have been tensions between the military leadership and the Russian reporters because of their work.
On the other hand, it could be worth waiting for Putin in this case. If the demands caught on in society, the risk of an expansion of the targets in Ukraine and a general mobilization would be significantly lower, the analysts believe.