Putin Directing the War via Zoom, Supposedly ‘Everything According to Plan’ but Why Are 16,000 Arab Volunteers Needed?
Putin's 'great' news: the war can continue to be fought with one arm only including because of mysterious Middle Eastern volunteers
The war has failed to breach Putin’s COVID bubble which remains in place. He is directing the war via Zoom conferences:
"Shoigu: Everything is going according to plan Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, everything is going according to plan." pic.twitter.com/IU62Dle1y0
— ZOKA (@200_zoka) March 11, 2022
In the latest televised conference Shoigu informed Putin that up to 16,000 people in the Middle East were prepared to pick up arms for Russia in Ukraine. Putin expressed approval for the idea they be given the opportunity to do so.
This strikes me as an unusual thing to say.
How long would it take to integrate Arabic fighters into Russian forces and to what extent could that be done? A war of what length is expected here that this makes sense?
Moscow says that conscripts and reservists are not needed for the war effort, but steps to assimilate up to 16,000 Arabic fighters to the force are welcome. That’s a little bit strange.
And why does it make sense to send policemen (Rosgvardia) but not reservists and conscripts? At least the latter two are soldiers.
Is this Putin reassuring Russian mothers to not worry, their son won’t be sent to Ukraine because there are plenty of Middle Easterners eager to do the fighting and dying for them?
Personally I would be very surprised to learn there are 1600, let alone 16000, Arabic fighters wanting to volunteer to risk life and limb in places with names like Zaporozhye or Dnipropetrovsk.
Launching a halfway war has already proven a mistake. Reassuring the nation that the war can continue to victory as a halfway effort without greater Russian mobilization and sacrifices could prove to be another.
A different leader might have opted to tell the nation this was a critical moment for the war and that an all-national push was needed to end this quickly. Putin has chosen the opposite.
In this context Shoigu also informed Putin that everything was “going according to plan”. Okay great. Super. But since that is so then why take on the hassle of integrating Arabs into your fighting force? Or was the plan all along to have a long war where that makes sense?
After Putin and Shoigu, the leader of the Donetsk Republic likewise told Russian TV audiences that “thousands and thousands” of people from the Middle East were ready to liberate Donbass:
“These are thousands and thousands of volunteers who are ready to come.I do not rule out that in the very near future they will be with us in the neighboring trenches, shoulder to shoulder with our units of liberation of Donetsk People’s Republic and of the Lugansk People’s Republic,” he stressed.
Few minutes after this announcement, MoD channel TV Zvezda published a video purporting to show Syrians geared up to go fight in #Ukraine. "Veterans come ask if there is recruitment of volunteers who want to stand up for Russia same way it stood up for Syria," Zvezda writes. pic.twitter.com/DOHu8n4dBK
— 𝙐𝙠𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙒𝙖𝙧 𝙍𝙪𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙖 (@UkraineWarRuss1) March 11, 2022
Actually, the Syrian army is constituted along Soviet/Russian lines and has many Russian staff officers serving as advisers. Such units, if dispatched whole, can work with the Russians easily, as they have been doing for years. However, you will note that Syria itself is still at war, with much of its territory occupied by Turkish-protected Bin Ladenites, US-augmented Kurdish separatists, Americans (around al-Tanf), and the Turks (the north).
If Syrian army units started to appear in Donbass that to me wouldn’t say that everything has gone according to plan.