Russia unlikely to start new mobilization wave before presidential election: UK intel

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The Kremlin will try to minimize “unpopular political moves” in the build-up to the presidential election and the campaign of President Vladimir Putin, so Russia will unlikely launch a new wave of mobilization before March 2024, a UK intelligence update reported on Tuesday.

“Russia’s presidential election will take place on 17 March 2024. Russian President Vladimir Putin will almost certainly run again, despite having not yet publicly announced his intention to do so. There is speculation that Putin’s election campaign will begin informally in November 2023,” the British ministry of defense said in its war intelligence update.

“While elections in Russia are subject to interference and control by the Kremlin, they remain a core tool of political legitimization.”

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It added: “It is almost certain that Putin’s election campaign will focus on the theme of Russia as a separate civilization in need of defense from external enemies – a narrative frequently used to justify the state’s actions and Putin’s consolidation of power.”

The British intelligence report highlighted: “In the build-up to the election, the Kremlin will almost certainly seek to minimize unpopular policy moves. It is therefore highly unlikely that any further mobilization wave will be implemented before the March 2024 presidential election.”

Earlier this month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces had no plans to announce an additional mobilization as the military currently had sufficient troop strength to carry out the war in Ukraine, as cited by state news agency TASS.

Shoigu stated that since the beginning of 2023 more than 335,000 people have volunteered for military service and signed relevant contracts.

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