This weekend, people around the world watched televised images from Moscow: a solemn ceremony in the Kremlin banquet hall, in which Putin declared the new Ukrainian territories “Russian” – “forever”.
At the same time, the Russian defense forces must give notice to their soldiers to withdraw Ukrainian advance in Lyman City.
For NRK, former top diplomat Kai Eide summarizes the latest developments in the war in Ukraine as follows:
– What we see from the Ukrainian side is the continuation of the attacks that happened a few weeks ago. They are able to continue advancing in what Putin now calls Russian territory.
Ede says Putin said thisitself under very difficult pressure».
– How does he react in this situation? He celebrated magnificently before the weekend in Moscow, and then you can see that this does not face reality. This is a big question for me.
– Do you think Putin will become more dangerous because of these failures?
– Yes I think so. He becomes more dangerous because he will need to show that he has not lost face. He faces a Ukrainian attack. It can make him more stressed and more unpredictable.
– That’s what I’m worried about.
Russian defeat at Liman
Two posts on social media Telegram this weekend: A Russian flag was thrown on the ground. In the background are Ukrainian soldiers with Ukrainian flags. Another soldier said, “Welcome to Lyman, you bastards.”
The photos were taken from the city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine. It is an important junction for railroads in Ukraine.
But most importantly: it is in Donetsk, which Putin has integrated into Russia along with three other regions – to strong international protests.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says this is against international law and says the areas are Ukrainian territory. UN In the Security Council, a fierce debate ensued, where the only thing that stopped the condemnation was Russia’s veto vote.
Eide: – The possibility of using nuclear weapons has increased
After news of the defeat at Liman, Ramzan Kadyrov, the dictatorial leader of Chechnya, said Russia should consider using tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Putin alluded to nuclear weapons in his September speech, in which he announced “partial” military demobilization.
Later, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, who was the Russian President and Prime Minister, said that “Russia is ready to defend Russian territory using all types of weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons.”
Eide says it is very difficult to say whether Putin will actually use nuclear weapons.
— but the prospect is stronger now than it was a few weeks ago. Thanks to Putin’s moves and what he himself has said.
Expert: Putin is extremely vulnerable
Recently, men have fled Russia to other countries to avoid being drafted into military service for the war in Ukraine.
Håvard Bækken is a researcher in the field of security studies and studies Russian patriotism.
He says there are many who express anger and distaste for the mobilization.
– The Russian people have never been ready to take this step from passively supporting the war on TV screens to participating in active hostilities.
– What kind of consequences might this have for Putin’s position in Russia?
– We cannot expect the Kremlin to storm today or tomorrow. But the situation is still dramatic.
Pulling people into war in this way violates Putin’s “social contract” with Russians, the researcher says: Boken says that people should keep their privacy and personal security in peace, even if it is used for political repression.
– It increases Putin’s vulnerability in future crises. Bad news can cause more resonance among the people and thus be scary, and there may be splits in the elite. This can lead to sandblasting in the war machine and reduced frontal morale.
Thinks Putin has a “pact of fear” with the Russians
Age Porchgrevink, advisor to the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, follows Russia closely.
– The Ukraine war was sold to the Russians as a “special operation”. It should not touch the Russians. Now it does. The effect shook Putin’s entire edifice, Porchgrevink says.
He believes that Putin had various “unwritten agreements” with the Russians during his presidency, and that what is now a “contract of fear”.
– If you watch Russian TV, there is talk of nuclear war and “the West is coming after us”. Any protest or dissent is met with caning and imprisonment more than ever before.
Russian society as a whole is characterized by fear, Porchgrevink says.
– Basing on contract is also a dangerous thing. It is difficult to know how people react when they are in a fearful situation.
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