Putin on brink as conscript ‘cannon fodder wont save him from defeat

Russia: Putin’s portrait on fire in Dagestan

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Russian draftees will fail to make a significant impact on the battlefield due to their lack of skill and training, a US general said, in a blow to Vladimir Putin’s efforts to counter the Ukrainian counteroffensive. General Philip Breedlove said conscripts will end up serving as cannon fodder, as they will not be able to hit back Ukrainian troops effectively without the necessary military education.

Speaking of Putin’s mobilisation order, General Philip Breedlove told Times Radio: “Now, I think his worst fears are coming true. This is not going to work out well for him with his public. 

“But as you mentioned, this is not going to work out well for him on the front lines either. 

“Of course, additional soldiers will help but these soldiers will not arrive in skilled positions. 

“These are soldiers that some are calling cannon fodder.

“And that [calling untrained soldiers cannon fodder] may not be very far from the truth.”

The US retired general added Putin’s inner circle pushed him to declare that mobilisation order amid losses in Ukraine.

He continued: “The fact that he’s calling them up is an admission by him that this war is not going well. 

“And he knew this was going to be a problem and really resisted this move for some time.

“But some of those around him have pushed him to it – the so-called war party – to say we have to do something.”

Since Putin declared the mobilisation of 300,000 reservists in a pre-recorded televised speech, Russians have fled the country en masse to avoid conscription, with thousands of cars queuing up at the Georgian border. 

Tens of thousands have flown out of the country, with some international flights reportedly costing more than £10,000 per seat for a single ticket this week.

Anti-war Russians who stayed in the country have taken to the streets to protest the conscription but have largely remained timid, according to observers. 

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In a major admission to flaws in Putin’s mobilisation order, the Kremlin conceded mistakes were made in the decree, with elderly and disabled Russian men being drafted to the battlefield.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “There are cases when the decree is violated. All the errors will be corrected”.

He added that in some regions, “governors are actively working to rectify the situation”.

Silencing rumours of Russia closing borders, Mr Peskov said he was unaware of any decisions to shut Russia’s borders and impose martial law in the country.

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