So far, Vladimir Putin has spoken of a “special operation” in Ukraine, and the Russian president avoids the word “war”. Could that change now?
In any case, in Ukraine, there is great concern about a significant increase in Russian attacks in the coming weeks and a declaration of war as early as May 9 during a military parade in Russia.
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The reason for this is a report by the American television channel CNN, which suggests that Putin could declare a state of war in Russia and order general mobilization in just a few days.
“I think he’s going to try to get away from his ‘special ops’,” UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told LBC radio last week. “He got the ball rolling and set the stage for him to be able to say, ‘Look, it’s a war on the Nazis now, and what I need is more people. I need more Russian cannon fodder.
No comment from the Kremlin
Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov also spoke about Russian preparations for an open mobilization of soldiers and reservists. There is no evidence on this.
The Kremlin did not initially react to the latest rumours. In the first weeks after the attack on the neighboring country on February 24, Moscow commented on the concerns of its own population and stressed that a general mobilization was not planned.
Even in the case of such an order, however, the scope would be completely unclear: Russian legislation also provides for the possibility of partial mobilization, which would then only affect individual regions of the giant country.
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Many people now look forward to Putin’s speech at the traditional May 9 military parade in Moscow, with which Russia annually commemorates the victory over Hitler’s Germany in 1945. Many experts initially assumed that the Kremlin leader wanted to celebrate the successes in Ukraine that day, and he claims that the so-called “denazification” of the country was the goal of the Russian military operation.
Annexation of the eastern Ukrainian breakaway regions of Lugansk and Donetsk
Given only the hesitant advance of Russian troops and strong Ukrainian resistance, some observers now assume that hostilities will intensify.
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CNN quoted US State Department spokesman Ned Price in his report: “It would be very ironic if Moscow used VE Day to declare war,” Price said. “But I’m pretty sure we’ll hear more from Moscow as May 9 approaches.”
US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Carpenter, says it is more likely to assume that Ukraine’s breakaway regions of eastern Lugansk and Donetsk will be annexed. Moscow may have similar plans for the occupied territory of Kherson in southern Ukraine, Carpenter said.