December 2, 2022
NEW DELHI – When Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to the Ukrainian President, said earlier this week that “Vladimir Putin is living in fear for his life as his army retreats… there is no forgiveness for tsars who lose wars”, he could well have been playing mind games. But there is no denying the fact that the pressure is mounting on the Russian President after weeks of gruelling military setbacks and domestic demands to end mobilisation.
Nine months into the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow took the difficult decision to retreat from Kherson, the only regional capital Russian forces had taken since 24 February. Selling this move as a tactical ploy is clearly not working for the Kremlin, but the graver issue which confronts President Putin is the demand by regional officials for an end to mobilisation.
The push for more troops has seen an exodus of young working males to neighbouring countries and is “affecting the psychological state of society”, according to Emilia Salbunova, a member of the Karelia Legislative Assembly.