Reports of Putin’s affairs are on the rise

As world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York and condemned him, Russian President Vladimir Putin returned home, trying to refill his exhausted war machine.

His Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was notably absent when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a blistering soliloquy to the United Nations Security Council documenting what he called Russia’s war crimes since February.

“If Russia stops the war, the war ends. If Ukraine stops the war, Ukraine will end,” Blinken said, pledging the United States would maintain its growing support for Ukraine.

The Russian military is divided when Putin is directly involved

CNN’s Katie Bo Lillis reported on Thursday that Putin was directing generals on the field, showing a level of micromanagement rarely seen in modern warfare and evidence of the dysfunction of the military. Russian troops discovered by the war in Ukraine.

“There are significant strategic disagreements with military leaders struggling to agree on where to focus efforts to build defenses,” said Lillis. said. Read more about Lillis .’s report.

Which Russians will this mobilization affect?

The cost to Russia is well documented, but these new reports on access to its citizens and prisons represent a new chapter of militarization.

In a speech, Putin advertised “partial mobilization” as focus on reservists with previous military experience. But the fine print of his written decree raised questions about whether any fit person could be forced to wear a uniform.

CNN’s international research team notes: “The ultimate meaning of the apparent difference remains unclear. And it remains to be seen whether the Kremlin is more willing to mobilize the general population.”

There is evidence that some Russians are not interested in waiting to find out how far the mobilization will go.

CNN Travel reported on a increased interest in flights out of Russia. ‘s photo long lines of traffic at Russia’s land border shows people fleeing the country to Kazakhstan, Georgia and Mongolia.

Drag more Russians into the war

Andrei Kolesnikov, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of several books on Russia’s political and social history, in an essay for CNN Opinion. Read more about Kolesnikov’s take.

Russia cannot support the new army

Simply forcing people into the military won’t solve Putin’s problems, according to one Sharp analysis from CNN’s Brad Lendon. The dwindling Russian military is incapable of training or supplying so many people.

“If they are faced with Ukrainian guns on the front lines,” Lendon wrote of the call, “they are likely to become the latest casualties in the invasion that Putin started more than seven months ago and that has seen the Russian military fail in almost every aspect of modern warfare.”

Lendon cites the open source intelligence website Oryx, which uses only confirmed losses with photographic or video evidence to document Russia’s loss of more than 6,300 vehicles, including 1,168 tanks, since the skirmish. begin.

Dissidents see progress

Nadya Tolokonnikova is a Russian dissident and a founding member of a group of activists and artists known as Pussy Riot. She spent two years in prison in Russia and said on CNN on that Thursday It will only become more difficult for the Russians to turn against Putin.

“I know very well the cost of Putin’s protest in Russia. And this price is increasing day by day, with Putin growing more and more upset about his position on the geopolitical arena.”

But she says the movement against him is growing.

“Those who are against Putin, they have real power, and that’s why Putin is persecuted about us,” she said. We are building (one) replace Russia with values ​​different from those of Putin. We want to be part of Western civilization. ”

Crisis of democracies

While news from Russia looks very bad for Putin and news from Ukraine shows that the Ukrainian military continues to outperform all expectations, it is still difficult to understand the leadership change there.

He’s entrenched, like we wrote here beforeuntil the government rejected him.

The same is not true in democracies, where leaders come and go. So it is also important to follow another geopolitical story from the United Nations meeting in New York that may end up being one of the fragile elements of Western democracies.

In an exclusive US interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the crisis.

“I think we have [a] the great crisis of democracies, what I call liberal democracies. Be clear about that. Why? First, because being an open society and open and very cooperative democracies put pressure on your people. It can destabilize them,” Macron said.

CNN’s Paul LeBlanc points out that “Macron’s comments echo President Joe Biden’s broad effort to frame 21st-century global competition as one defined by democracies compared to other democracies.” with autocratic regimes.” Read more about the Macron interview.

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