Eastern Europe expert on partial mobilization: "Putin is under pressure"

The partial mobilization is a reaction to pressure from the extreme right, says Charles Gati. A conversation about possible war scenarios.

Vladimir Putin looks tense

Still talking about special operations instead of war: Vladimir Putin Photo: Gavriil Grigorov/ap

taz: Putin has one partial mobilization announced. What are the consequences?

Charles Gati: That's hard to deal with. He wants to mobilize 300,000 men. I think Putin is under pressure from the war hawks among his critics. So he is responding to pressure from the extreme right and not from a liberal group seeking a peace deal with Ukraine. That is very dangerous.

88, was a professor of political science at Union College and Columbia University in New York. The Eastern Europe and Russia expert has also strategically advised the US State Department.

Means one thing escalation of the conflict?

In any case. Let's take a look at what that means in practice. speeches are speeches Normally you can derive a trend from this. I'd wait and see if that's a bluff or if it's a reality.

Can you keep up the story of the special operations?

No, they will have to come up with a new name for this war. I don't think that makes much of a difference though. A significant part of the population does not want to know that Russia is at war. That's why they call it special operations. They also want to maintain the illusion that Ukraine is part of Russia.

At the same time referendums are hastily scheduled in the occupied territories.

You are already talking about the incorporation of these territories into the Russian Federation. This is extremely dangerous and I think there is a naïve optimism in Europe and even in the US that underestimates the danger that this conflict poses.

According to the Russian interpretation, if Russia annexed the territories, Ukraine would attack Russian territory if it wanted to retake its territory.

This will increase Russian aggression, but at the same time promote cohesion in the West. So far, western Ukraine has refused certain weapons that could be used to attack Russia. I think mobilization will increase on the western side. The goal remainsto expel Russia from Ukraine, not to attack Russia.

What mistakes has the West made in this conflict? People always talk about Zbigniew Brzezinski, who wanted to bring Ukraine to the West back in the 1990s.

That's not true. Brzezinski, who was a good friend of mine, said that Russia would not be a great power without Ukraine. He also said that neutrality status of Ukraine should be considered. I wrote a book with Brzezinski and agreed with him on almost every point. Not on this point, however.

Many experts believe there will be neither a military victory nor a formal peace agreement, but a frozen conflict.

That is possible. What is certain is that Russia will not win. NATO will not allow that. The USA and above all the Ukrainian population will also prevent this. Your determination is admirable. But I don't believe in a military victory for Ukraine either. It can recapture most, if not all, of the occupied territories. So far I haven't seen that. I currently see the greatest danger in the possibility that the European states will reduce their support in a hard winter. Then Russia could conquer some territories. The US does not want to defeat Russia. Amazingly, the Biden administration knows exactly what it is doing. Russia will always be there and will always have some influence over Ukraine. I think you have to put up with that.

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