It is thought that the Russian President is set to make a last-ditch attempt to push Russian forces through Ukrainian territory which may see Putin impose martial law. In a desperate move to stave off more embarrassments on the frontline, Moscow may soon mobilise two million people.
Russian sources have claimed that the mobilisation may be combined with martial law in major cities such as Moscow.
However, Ukrainian President Zelensky has warned that any hopes of lasting negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will only occur if Moscow withdraws its forces from all Ukrainian territory.
Speaking to the Financial Time he said: “We must return all lands…because I believe that the battlefield is the way when there is no diplomacy.
“If you can’t get your land back entirely, the war is simply frozen. It is a question of time before it resumes.”
While Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, has denied the possibility of an announcement of mobilisation and martial law, some claim it will be used to distract from a potential handover of power to Putin’s successor.
Rumours suggest that the mass mobilisation will allow Putin to hand over power as many speculate about his health.
Sergei Kiriyenko, 60, Putin’s deputy chief of staff and former Prime Minister may be in line to take over from the President.
Another contender is Dmitry Patrushev, agriculture minister, and son of the President’s chief of security.
Peskov said: “Media information about Putin’s address, which allegedly will announce the ‘mobilisation of the country’ is not true”.
Yet the denial from the Kremlin has made people believe more fervently that Putin’s mobilisation of the 300,000 people already conscripted is set to be extended.
This belief has been fuelled by Putin’s failure to sign the decree which will conclude the first mobilisation.
It is thought that the new draft could be announced in the new year which would see up to two million people, including 300,000 women sent to the front line to turn the tables on Ukraine.
General SVR Telegram channel made the claim of the announcement set for January and said, “Putin considers it ‘sufficient’ to call up another two million people, of which about 300,000 are women.
“A large number of victims among those mobilised, according to the president, will only rally Russian society and strengthen the current regime, and regardless of whether the result will be victory or defeat.”
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An observer of Putin, Valery Solovey, former professor from Moscow’s Institute of International relations added: “The intention [is] to mobilise not 300,000, 400,000, or 500,000 but, with luck, up to two million people…after the New Year celebrations.
“Moreover, it is planned to conduct the mobilisation at the same time as introducing martial law.”
Solovey added: “It is supposed to extend the martial law either to the entire Russia or to a significant part of its territory including the Russian capitals – the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.”
It is thought that the mobilisation will include seeing people sent to work in factories to support the war.
The former Professor expressed his belief that the Russian President is battling terminal cancer meaning “he will most certainly leave before 2024”.
He added: “It is even possible he will announce his departure before the New Year, but this depends on his state of his health.”