| 30 November 2023, Thursday |

Putin preparing Russia for “long war” in Ukraine to stay in power

Russian President Vladimir Putin, together with the Russian military leadership, are preparing their country for war for years to come. He believes he’s past a turning point since the war is the only thing that keeps his regime going.

Russia’s authorities are hinting that their population should brace for a protracted war. To this end, the State Duma a few days ago adopted amendments to the law on mobilization, introducing electronic military draft notices. Russian males will be receiving such notices via registered mail and through their personal accounts on Gosuslugi, the online portal for government service, which until now has been used for routine matters such as making medical appointments, obtaining certificates from government agencies, or managing government pensions. The old system of serving physical draft notices to report to military recruitment offices also remains in place.

The new rules will apply to both conscripts and those who fall under an ad-hoc mobilization campaign. By such actions, the Russian authorities confirm their intentions to declare full mobilization.

Today, Russia continues to employ terror tactics, constantly shelling Ukrainian cities and villages. They are trying to create tension along the entire front line and the Russian-Ukrainian border by shelling Ukrainian frontline and border settlements. A year into the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian soldiers have committed more than 72,000 war crimes. Since the outset of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014, the Russian army has used more than 210 types of weapons proscribed by international treaties, including cluster and phosphorus munitions, mines, chemical and incendiary munitions.  Nearly a thousand cases of Russia using proscribed means of warfare have been documented. The latest case was the April 12 shelling of the urban-type settlement of Kurakhivka in Donetsk region where cluster munitions were used. Civilian casualties have been reported.

Russia will continue to wage hostilities in violation of the laws of war. At the same time, Moscow always blames the West for its own crimes. Today, Russian authorities and general public are convinced that they are at war with NATO in Ukraine – this is how Russian officials have recently justified their invasion of Ukraine.

Russian aggression in Ukraine has demonstrated that the criminal regime of Vladimir Putin will not stop on Ukraine, being ready to start an even bloodier war in Europe, so it is important to continue to arm the Ukrainian Army to ensure peace on the European continent. Russia must suffer the economic consequences of its criminal policy, its army must be destroyed, and Russian war criminals complicit in the atrocities must be convicted by an international tribunal. The warrant of the International Criminal Court for the arrest of Vladimir Putin is the first step toward holding Russian criminals accountable for their crimes.