Going to war with your own sleeping bag


An this Friday, from 3 p.m. Russian time, 2 p.m. German time, there will be a celebration in the Kremlin: President Vladimir Putin is inviting Russian parliamentarians and “heads” of the occupied territories in eastern and southern Ukraine to his official residence. Putin’s spokesman confirmed on Thursday media reports that “treats” on the “accession” of the four areas to Russia are to be signed there. Dmitry Peskov announced an “extensive” appearance by Putin.

The direction must be trying to tie in with the staging of Putin’s speech on the annexation of the first part of Ukraine, Crimea, on March 18, 2014 in the Kremlin’s magnificent Georgievsky Hall. Just as the staging of the most recent “referendums” in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Cherson and Zaporizhia regions and their Russian-controlled parts was intended to tie in with what happened eight and a half years ago: there was also a “referendum” with “approval” on the Ukrainian peninsula the 100 percent mark, then a Putin speech and an “accession treaty”, later approval by both chambers of parliament. The choice of words is now reminiscent of that of 2014: there is talk of “reunification”, because Putin’s motto was to “take back” areas that were ruled by tsars and Soviet leaders. First of all, the new annexations are to be approved by the lower house next Monday and the upper house the next day.

Many of those who attended the Kremlin in 2014 will come this time as well; Personnel changes in Putin’s system are tough, even at lower levels. However, the audience in the hall would find it difficult to repeat the enthusiasm of the time about the almost bloodless annexation of Crimea – according to Russian myth even completely bloodless – for the new annexations. The main reason is the mobilization announced by Putin last Wednesday, which shocked many Russians.

People who had never thought about politics before began “thinking about the situation” and “asking questions,” as Moscow sociologist Grigory Yudin told the FAZ: that Putin is now trying, instead of relying on “demobilization,” to mobilize or to mobilize is an experiment with an uncertain outcome. There are many indications that the Kremlin is not satisfied with the interim result. Medusa reported that the Kremlin did not like the results of a secret poll on mobilization; the move “shook everyone up,” the exiled Russian news portal quoted the environment of the presidential administration as saying. The many kilometers of traffic jams at border crossings, especially to Georgia and Kazakhstan, the images of tired, relieved Russians who have made it across the borders, the reports of tens of thousands of people who have actually fled should not irritate state television viewers.



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