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Russia to celebrate Victory Day


Russia to celebrate Victory Day

Photo: Dima Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russia is likely to announce a partial mobilization of its population in its war with Ukraine during today’s victory day celebrations. 

The invasion, which enters its 11th week, has seen Russia make only limited progress in capturing Ukrainian territory. While Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to celebrate significant success on victory day, no major objectives have been achieved, with Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant still in Ukrainian hands and Russia’s offensive in the Donbas encountering significant resistance. Additionally, arms deliveries and training from western nations are eroding the technical superiority of Russian forces, meaning the Kremlin’s advantage will decrease. 

The purpose of a partial mobilization would be to use numerical superiority to achieve a major breakthrough, defeating Ukraine quickly to lessen the impact of western support to Ukraine and pre-empt the damage of future sanctions. While an increase in Russian numbers is likely to improve its combat capabilities, Moscow will exercise caution in the use of conscripts. Of the 210,000 Russian soldiers deployed in Ukraine, approximately 10% have become casualties- significant losses among conscripts would lead to domestic instability. Western countries are also likely to consequently increase aid to Ukraine, making a turn in the tide of the war unlikely.

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