This Putin Speech May Mark His End

Putin's First PM Says This Speech Marks the End

Putin’s First PM Says This Speech Marks the End

( – A former Russian prime minister has predicted that President Vladimir Putin’s latest speech signals the beginning of the end of his rule. This week, Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists to shore up his disintegrating army in Ukraine. According to one former Russian official, that might be a step too far for the Russian public.

When Putin launched his army into Ukraine in February, expecting a rapid victory, he promised the Russian people that he would only deploy professional soldiers. Seven months later, with reports of anywhere from 50,000 up to 80,000 Russian troops dead and the invaders being pushed back towards their own borders, the supply of professional soldiers has run out.

On September 21, Putin announced a partial mobilization of the reserves. This allows him to call up as many as two million men who’ve completed their two years of mandatory military service.

It could take up to three months to get mobilized reservists properly reintegrated into the army, although that could be slashed if they’re simply handed a uniform and a rifle and thrown into battle — but that would lead to heavier casualties and create a growing political problem. The mobilization isn’t popular; protests are growing, and tens of thousands of reservists have already fled.

On Thursday, Mikhail Kasyanov, Russia’s prime minister during Putin’s first term as president from 2000-2004, told Newsweek that the mobilization will drive a wedge between Putin and people who’ve backed him up to now. Kasyanov said, “It is already clear people are tired of [Putin’s] leadership,” and his power will now start slipping away. He added that he didn’t know how long it would take, but he’s sure this expansion of the war has pushed Putin closer to the exit.

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