Vladimir Putin won't hold on to power predicts Leon Panetta
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Vladimir Putin’s tactics when it comes to pursuing his war in Ukraine have been ‘disorganised, chaotic and arbitrary’ – and has left him with ‘few options left’. Professor John R Bryson said the Russian President’s decision to issue a partial mobilisation order last month has left him facing three major problems – and warned any use of nuclear weapons would prove “catastrophic” for Russia itself.
John R Bryson, Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography at the University of Birmingham, also said following Putin’s mobilisation order aimed at drafting 300,000 reservists into his armed forces, more than that number had now fled the country – describing the situation as “astonishing”.
In a comment piece published today, Prof Bryson said the situation was becoming so bad even journalists employed by state-controlled media outlets were starting to question Russia tactics.
He said: “This questioning goes hand-in-hand with the mass exodus of highly educated Russians which commenced on 21 September 2022 with the announcement of some form of ‘partial mobilisation’ of military reservists.
“This partial mobilisation has been disorganised, chaotic and arbitrary. Even President Vladimir Putin has admitted that there have been implementation mistakes.”
His announcement triggered anti-war protests in ore than 30 Russian cities and towns, and multiple arrests, Prof Bryson pointed out.
He added: “It has been estimated that more Russians have fled abroad than have been enlisted.
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“Thus, Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defence Minister, has stated that more than 200,000 people have been conscripted into the Russian army since 21 September.
“Nevertheless, more that 200,000 Russians have fled to Kazakhstan, and another 69,000 have crossed the border into Georgia whilst 66,000 have entered the European Union. These are astonishing figures.”
Speaking after Putin’s annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts, or regions, Prof Bryson said: “Putin has created a major problem for the Kremlin, and this is a problem of his own making.
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“There is an interesting paradox here. Putin’s attempt to integrate Ukrainian territory into Russia has been a fundamental driver in enhancing respect and recognition of Ukraine’s statehood.”
There were three important signs indicating what Prof Bryson referred to as an “on-going erosion of Russian statehood” which he said jeopardised its very existence.
He explained: “First, a core sign comes from the more than 300,000 citizens who have decided to flee Russia. These are citizens who no longer recognise the Kremlin’s authority.
“Second, the on-going questioning of the Kremlin’s actions by representatives of Russia’s state-controlled media highlights that there is a significant problem emerging within the Russian state.
“Third, Russia is classified as an emerging or developing economy and ultimately might become an emerged economy.
Russia is, however, an emerging economy in reverse or is perhaps better defined as the first of a new form of national economy – a de-emerging economy or a declining or shrinking nation.”
Prof Bryson added: “Putin has very few options left. He continues to try to find some positive outcome to his special military operation.
“The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine would only cement Russia’s failure on three fronts – within Russia, international governmental and corporate relations and within Ukraine.”
Putin has argued the United States created a nuclear precedent by bombing Japan – but Prof Bryson pointed out this set no precedent for deploying such weapons on what the Russian President claims to be Russian territory.
Mr Bryson concluded: “Deploying nuclear weapons close to Russian territory would be another tragedy for the Russian people as Russian citizens would be directly impacted.
“It would be a disaster for Ukraine but would be catastrophic for the institutions of the Russian state.”
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