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What is Russia’s New Strategy in Ukraine?

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What is Russia’s New Strategy in Ukraine?

What is Russia's New Strategy in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin recently called for a partial military mobilization in Ukraine. Find out how this move will affect Ukraine’s counteroffensive and Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory.

Foreign Brief covers Putin’s escalation of the War in Ukraine. With Russia annexing eastern Ukrainian territory, a Ukrainian counteroffensive could trigger Russia’s nuclear doctrine.

Full transcript

You’ve probably heard of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine…

(Reporter 1) A democratic country has been invaded by its nuclear armed neighbor on multiple fronts.

(Reporter 2) The war in Ukraine, as we know has caused death, destruction and a lot of devastation

(Reporter 3) comes as a sweeping Ukrainian counter offensive has driven Russian forces out of dozens of communities in Eastern Ukraine.

Well, last Wednesday in a televised speech, Putin announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 Russian citizens in the military reserves to be sent to Ukraine.

(Vladimir Putin) I think it is necessary to support the proposal of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff to hold a partial (military) mobilization in Russia. I repeat: We are talking about a partial mobilization only.

Given that the current number of Russian troops is estimated to be fewer than 200,000. This means a more than doubling of the Kremlin’s manpower. Putin also reiterated his point that the West has repeatedly crossed a line with the end goal of completely disintegrating the Russian state. Putin believes this mission began with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. How did ordinary Russians react to this quasi-draft? They took to the streets. 735 protesters were detained across 36 cities after demonstrations were held in opposition to Putin’s announcement of the partial mobilization. They will join the over 16,000 people who have been arrested for anti-war activity since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine. But the partial mobilization isn’t the only way the war in Ukraine seems to be ramping up. Putin also announced that these four Russian held regions, run by Kremlin-backed governments, would hold referendums to decide the political future of the territory. The referendums ran from the 23rd to the 27th of September and are expected to swing in favor of Moscow. Of course, Ukraine dismissed the referendums as illegitimate, vowing to liberate its territory against all odds. But these events have happened before. Russia used the same strategy with Crimea in 2014, which is now recognized Russian territory. Why is this so pivotal in the war? If Russia was already claiming these areas as their own, what do these referendums actually change? Assuming these territories vote in favor of Moscow, Russia can claim its defending its own land in the war, justifying a much more severe escalation. Now, let’s get back to Putin’s speech.

(Vladimir Putin) I want to remind those who allow themselves such statements about Russia that our country also has a variety of weapons of destruction, and in some areas even more modern than those in NATO countries. We will without question use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff.

Did you catch that? He’s threatening a possible nuclear war. This is the worst-case scenario. Putin is already playing up the likelihood of NATO using nuclear weapons against Russia. But he could also cast Ukraine as directly attacking Russia itself. Remember those referendums? Even if Ukraine tries to regain its lost territories, it would trigger clauses in Russia’s nuclear doctrine, which would allow it to deploy its nuclear arsenal.

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