I wrote yesterday Putin was heading for trouble at home. He could be deposed. My sense it was a question of time. Turns out time had run out. As I was writing my blog, Russians had already gone to the streets in protest of Putin’s call for partial mobilization.
The Russian people do not want war. They are making it clear.
Many are seeking ways to escape Moscow and St. Petersburg. Even remote areas of Siberia. Anxious people. Especially those who might be subject to the immediate draft.
Planes are sold out. Black market tickets are available. Over $16,000 one way.
Some sought to drive out. Made it to land borders with Finland and Mongolia. Long traffic jams developed at the borders and check points.
Putin’s mobilization call is the first Russian draft since World War II. The people are not buying it. Street demonstrations prevalent in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as smaller cities. Overall, 1,300 arrested. Five hundred plus in Moscow and St. Petersburg alone.
The chants in the streets self-explanatory: “Let our children live!…..Send Putin to the trenches!…..No to war!”
In St. Petersburg, police were beating protesters with batons. In one small community, the chant was: “I don’t want to die for Putin and you!”
A petition was started in Moscow denouncing the mobilization and conflict. By day’s end, it had already garnered 292,000 signatures.
Those drafted will receive 15 days training. Then it’s off to the battlefront. The draftees are similar to U.S. reservists. Except, Americans receive constant training. Russian draftees are those who already served at some time in the military. Period. No further training. Most did their service years ago.
A group called Mabil said the mobilization “means that thousands of Russian men – our fathers and husbands – will be thrown into the meat grinder of war. What will they die for? For Putin’s palace?…..The authorities at first said that only ‘professionals’ were fighting and that they would win. It turned out they were not winning. So the war is no longer somewhere out there; it has come to our homes.”
One mother’s words: “I don’t want my son to go to war, this is unacceptable…..Why do our children have to sacrifice their lives? We never wanted this war.”
She sent her children to Armenia last week.
Business elites and intelligentsia view the war as “a stupid mistake.”
It is reported Putin is concerned and the concern is growing. One person: Putin “is said to have been obsessed with the footage of Gaddafi being pulled out of a culvert, sodomized with a bayonet, and then shot in the streets by his own people.” The comment was followed by may “his worst fears come true.”
May Putin pay for his sins. Sooner than later.