US think tank: speculation about possible Putin speech on Ukraine

According to the US Institute for War Studies (ISW), Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin could announce a second wave of mobilization for the war against Ukraine in the coming days.

US think tank: speculation about possible Putin speech on Ukraine

According to the US Institute for War Studies (ISW), Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin could announce a second wave of mobilization for the war against Ukraine in the coming days. The Washington-based think tank wrote in its most recent report on Tuesday evening (local time) that Putin could possibly already announce this at a performance planned for Wednesday in St. Petersburg.

Putin could also use the opportunity to declare war on Ukraine, it said. In Russia, the invasion of Ukraine, which began at the end of February 2022, is officially known as a "military special operation". Public use of the term "war" is punishable under criminal law.

The think tank ISW cites, among other things, Russian military bloggers. However, Ukrainian and Western secret services have repeatedly warned against Putin's mobilization preparations for mid-January, it said.

Visit to St. Petersburg

On Wednesday in St. Petersburg, the head of the Kremlin will take part in celebrations marking the breaking of the blockade of the metropolis sealed off by German troops in January 1944. He will also visit an armaments factory. When and where Putin will give his speech was not yet known on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced a far-reaching restructuring of the Russian army in order to implement the increase in troop levels demanded by the Kremlin. Only through structural changes in the armed forces is it possible to guarantee Russia's security, Shoigu said at a meeting of the defense ministry. Against the background of the Ukraine war, Putin announced shortly before New Year's Eve that he would increase the number of soldiers from 1.15 to 1.5 million.

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