Vladimir Putin, 69, is constantly talking about the “special military operation” in Ukraine. But Britain’s defense minister believes he may now be forced to declare war. why? Because it needs more soldiers.
Ben Wallace said in an interview with LBC radio that he believes Putin will come with a declaration of war when Russia celebrates its victory over Nazi Germany on May 9.
Wallace is by no means alone in thinking:
– The Russians must figure out how to compensate for their losses in the ranks of the dead soldiers, says military expert Ilmari Kehko at the Swedish Defense College to VG.
– Putin could suspend last year’s recruits, but the deadline for that expired on April 22. Therefore, it is even worse to mobilize now – without declaring war, which he has not yet wanted to do.
Then there is the question of whether – and perhaps when – Putin should do it.
– I would not be surprised … if, on Victory Day, May 9, he would most likely announce “Now we are at war with the world Nazis, and we need to mobilize the Russian people.”
– I think he will move from “Special Operation” … which is the reason for being able to say “Look at this is a war against the Nazis, and what I need is more people, I need more Russian cannon fuel.”
“We must actively help the Ukrainians and push them back,” Wallace adds. He also accuses Moscow of making “pathetic attempts” to hide its losses in the war.
Loss numbers unknown
Russia has not come up with specific casualty figures for a long time, while Ukraine claims that 23,000 Russian soldiers lost their lives in the war.
– We do not have reliable figures, but I see that the British work with 15,000, while the Russians have admitted no more than 1,500. The Russian death toll is clearly more than 1,500, and 15,000 could be reasonable, says Elmari Kehko of the Swedish National Defense College.
It is estimated that Russia lost about 3,000 vehicles. But there was no equal number of soldiers per vehicle. They did not have such large crews. There were probably only four soldiers in the chariots as there were supposed to be six or eight soldiers. They had a staff shortage throughout the war and were unsuccessful in resolving it.
At the same time, Käihkö compares the Afghanistan war from 1979 to 1989.
At that time, the Soviet Union lost 14,500 soldiers in ten years. So there are more losses in these few months than in ten years at the time.
Watch the video – Putin claims that this is the “best missile in the world”:
The military expert believes that Putin is in a bind, because it is not sure that it will be easier if he declares war and mobilizes Russian reserves:
– Ending the war would be more difficult then. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to accept anything in peace negotiations. Now that Putin has not declared war, he still has a chance to pull out – although there are no indications that he has plans to do so. But if Putin declares war on May 9, it will have dire consequences.
Ilmari Käihkö believes that Russia has changed its rhetoric sharply recently:
It is no longer a war against Ukraine, but a war against NATO and the Western world. In the worst case, this could lead to a war that would also be waged outside Ukraine.
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