May 9th is Victory Day in Russia, similar to the day it was celebrated in the USSR. This year's celebration is a unique one for Putin's Russia as he has taken Russia into an all-out conflict against NATO, the EU, Australia, South Korea, and Japan. The problem is the fact that, contrary to the assertions of his supporters, there isn't a clear way forward that could allow him to achieve all of the goals the Russian leader set in his address announcing the launch of his “special military operation.”
Last month, the Intelligence Community stated that Putin would like to announce something significant for May 9 (Intelligence claims Putin is aiming for a big victory in Ukraine Prior to the 9th of May). It appeared the “something big” would be the triumph in Donbas. Russian troops were pulled out of Kiev, partially rebuilt, and then sent into battle in the western parts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Rumors circulated that the entire region of Ukraine, including Donetsk to Crimea, was to be annexed, or turned into a new puppet state similar to the two in existence (Russia is Creating facts on the ground to Help Annex the Eastern Region of Ukraine Ten Days Into Putin's “New Phase of Russia's invasion of Ukraine There's a Few Fortschritts, but the Clock is ticking). Rumors continue to suggest that Putin has a new aim of taking Odesa and Ukraine’s coastline and joining with the criminal Moldovan Province of Transnistria (Putin Chooses to Expand the Conflict With Ukraine in Order to Reach His Goals).
The reality is that without the intervention of the great Jehovah, Russia would have little if anything to rejoice over. Although we're all convinced that Putin might kick Ukraine to the ground and end this at any time that he wanted, for reasons that are not clear, the Russian leader has decided to sacrifice at minimum 20000 Russian soldiers and three times that number of wounded, more than 1000 frontline military vehicles, and the Russian flagship of the Black Sea Fleet (BREAKING. Russian Flagship Sinks as it’s towed towards Port). This Donbas campaign has been slow. The idea that Russia might be able to take over Odesa or Transnistria is absurd.
How will tomorrow go?
I think there are four main choices and possibly it will be a mix of each.
Accept the war, pledge better times, and then move forward.
The conflict that is raging in Ukraine is the trans-gorilla of 800 pounds on the scene. The number of casualty announcements is increasing. There were threats against draft offices. In the meantime, those who left are starting to reappear in “the block.” The war cannot be completely overlooked, but it could be portrayed as a continuous process of removing the historically Russian land of nazis. Putin did it in a similar way in the past.
The Russian president Vladimir Putin on Sunday vowed that “as in 1945, victory will be ours” as Putin wished the former Soviet nations to mark the anniversary of the 77th anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat during World War II.
“Today, our soldiers, as their ancestors, are fighting side by side to liberate their native land from the Nazi filth with the confidence that, as in 1945, victory will be ours,” declared Putin who sent Russian soldiers in Ukraine in February.
“Today, it is our common duty to prevent the rebirth of Nazism which caused so much suffering to the peoples of different countries,” Putin said. Putin also said he hopes “new generations may be worthy of the memory of their fathers and grandfathers.”
Putin has also made several mentions not only of soldiers, but also civilians who were on the “home front… who smashed Nazism at the cost of countless sacrifices.”
“Sadly, today, Nazism is rearing its head once more,” said Putin who has stated that Ukraine is under the sway of fascism and poses a threat to Russia, as well as the Russian-speaking minority in the east of Ukraine, that Moscow declares to be “liberating.”
I'd expect this choice to contain “I got nukes” bluster however, that could indicate that it's a day which ends with “y.”
It could be an allusion back to the World War II tradition of marching German prisoners of battle across Red Square. The Ukrainians are nazis we're told.
The message could be “we are fighting, and we are winning.”
Our work in eradicating naziism is complete.
If this happens, Putin proclaims that the territories are currently under occupation and declares that the war is over and then blames Ukraine for attacking Russia in the event that it does not stop. It could be an interesting attempt at a shoulder judo throw, but it could end as a belly-flop. In ending the war, Putin would retain some amount of credibility thanks to his fanboyism. His assertion that Ukraine has attacked Russia is a lie to all except those who depend upon TASS, Pravda, and RIA Novosti for news. This would certainly make one of the options more secure.
Putin may be able to resolve some of his current issues with his personnel by a declaration of war. Contract soldiers will no longer be able to leave whenever they wanted and they could legally be sent off towards the battlefield (see the article: The Russian Army wasn't designed for War, and Putin's Conflict in Ukraine Doesn't Prove That). While a part of the issue is solved, a new one is developed. At present, the amount of Russian families affected by Putin's War is very small. The draft is particularly affecting those who are poor and powerless. A child from a good family could be averted should he choose to. If you examine the breakdown of casualties, the largest portion of casualties are coming from the outskirts of the newly established Russian Empire. There is no one in Moscow or St. Petersburg who cares because it's an “not my circus, not my monkey” situation. The declaration of war will change everything. Students in colleges or who have some other bogus excuse to avoid the draft are in a bind. The next bodybag truck will be at the heart of Putin's strength. What is the level of pain tolerance of Russian people and the elites, when a young Ivan who was planning to become a doctor gets crushed in the hands of Ukrainian artillery? I'm sure it'll be quite different from the 20 000 street kids and orphans and children who hail from Mongolian steps being killed.
Declare partial or full mobilization.
The scenario of mobilization could or could not be realized by declaring war. The mobilization scenario means that people that are up to the old age of 65 will be swept up and placed into the Russian military. Don't laugh. This is what has happened in Donbas, where people aged 18 to 60 are expected to join the army of the separatists. They're not well-trained. However, they lower the number of Russian soldiers who are killed.
The Kremlin is reportedly signaling that the idea of mobilization is off the agenda.
Does mobilization help?
In 1978, the Department of Defense carried out an exercise of mobilization across the nation called Nifty Nugget. It involved both government and military agencies from the federal level to state levels testing America's strategies for mobilization in the event of conflict against the Warsaw Pact. The slogan could be “I've been to two goat ropes and a county fair, and I ain't never seen sh** like this before.” The same aircraft was used in mobilization plans for various organizations. Federal agencies were not aware of the number of staff members who were reservists, or had plans to fill their posts. Rail lines essential for moving equipment and troops were taken away. Certain installations that were designated as mobilization centers have been abandoned. The ability to dress or arm the soldiers who were being mobilized was not as easy. Noncommissioned officers required to instruct and supervise the new units didn't exist. In the end the only paper-based exercise was an absolute failure.
It's hard to imagine it functioning well in Russia. Actually, I could imagine it performing much worse. There are unconfirmed reports of conscripts in Donbas receiving M1891 Mosin-Nagant bolt-action weapons. A lot of Donbas conscripts are wearing a mix of civilian clothing as well as uniform items. According to me, overflowing their base of training with people who aren't interested in being there and aren't adequately fed or clothed isn't an ideal choice. However, invading Ukraine was not a stroke of genius.
What will happen? On the 23rd of February I would have placed a bet that all the “I'm gonna invade Ukraine” incident was just a joke. I would have received nothing.