The Russian Federation deliberately conducted an exchange of prisoners on the day of the announcement of mobilization, - ISW

The Russian Federation deliberately conducted an exchange of prisoners on the day of the announcement of mobilization, – ISW

About this reports Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

“Probably, the Kremlin tried to downplay the prisoner exchange with Ukraine, which is very unpopular among Russian nationalists and militancy bloggers, by carrying out the exchange on the same day that Putin announced a partial mobilization,” experts say.

Russian tabloids criticized the exchange and asked whether the Kremlin had abandoned the “denazification” of Ukraine, one of the stated goals of the Russian invasion, according to the Institute’s report.

Analysts note that the Russian authorities openly do not comply with the promised conditions of partial mobilization. Kremlin quotas are likely to force local authorities to mobilize men regardless of their military status.

Nowadays, summonses are served even to anti-mobilization protesters; the morale of such soldiers will be catastrophically low. There is a high probability that a disproportionate number of men will try to recruit among ethnic minorities (those Buryats and Dagestanis who were actively recruited for “short-term contracts”, which Putin has now made permanent), as well as among immigrants, for example from Central Asia.

By the way, it is impossible to check how much they actually intend to mobilize. Shoigu spoke of 300,000, but the number of a million people was leaked to the opposition press.

“The Kremlin’s hard-line approach to partial mobilization is likely to fuel domestic outrage over a measure that would be unpopular even if implemented without the hard-line approach seen over the past 24 hours,” the report said.

According to experts, the announcement of partial mobilization and flagrant disregard for even the parameters of mobilization dictated by the government may alienate interested sections of the Russian public, who were previously more tolerant of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which affected their personal interests less.

Other key ISW findings

  • The IAEA negotiations around the Zaporizhzhia NPP are unlikely to significantly improve the situation at the NPP and may give Russian troops the opportunity to stage provocations
  • Probably, on September 22, Ukrainian troops continued limited counteroffensive actions along the border of the Kharkiv-Luhansk region and advanced on Liman
  • The Ukrainian military remained operationally silent on the ground shelling of Ukrainian troops in the Kherson region on September 22 and confirmed that the Ukrainian forces are conducting a blocking operation in the Kherson region
  • On September 22, Russian troops carried out limited ground strikes along the front line in the Donetsk region
  • On September 22, Russian forces did not conduct confirmed ground attacks west of Gulyaipol and continued conventional strikes throughout the western Zaporizhzhia region
  • The Russian occupying forces are hastily setting the conditions for holding fictitious referendums on annexation on September 23-27 throughout the territory of occupied Ukraine
  • Russian officials set up polling stations in some parts of Russia, ostensibly so that displaced (in many cases meaning kidnapped) Ukrainian residents of the occupied territories could “vote”
  • Russian occupation officials in Ukraine likely expect to be forced to provide personnel to meet Russian regional mobilization quotas after the Kremlin illegally annexes occupied Ukrainian territories

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