London, 22 Sept 2022 – “No to the war”, send Putin to the trenches”: thousands are challenging Putin’s regime repression are taking to the streets if Moscow and St Petersburg the day Russian president called 300.000 reservist to the Ukrainian front and launched the latest nuclear threat to the West. Arrests are hundreds, maybe thousands.
Upsetting videos are bouncing on Twitter and TikTok: riot police dragging away undefended young.
Airports are being stormed to escape the country, AP reports. People are risking their lives, risking going to jail, ben beaten by police: a risk worth taking as they feel their own lives are not safe anymore. The regime is increasingly oppressive, censorship and rhetoric no longer manage to cover up the invasion and the cruelty against Ukrainians.
Today’s call for 300.000 reservists is the direct involvement of the Russian population into the war for the first time from last February 24 when the invasion started. The fact that on the same day of the call Putin delivered his latest threat of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine is a ‘cover’ message to support the call of civilians to the front and try to avoid desertions: this means that the regime in order to reassure reservists of Russia’s strength and advantage on the battlefield, branded nuclear weapons against NATO in order to give those 300K recalled from their (relatively) quiet life to the army the illusion of a win-win situation where it’s unlikely for them die on the front because the ‘enemies’ would be scared of potential nuclear weapons and won’t fiercely advance.
The reality is that Putin’s cronies military and propagandistic tactic did not work. They probably did not expect a mass escape and mass protests: a confirmation million Russians are in the hands of few dozens dangerous autocrats completely isolated and detached from the population.
While commenting Putin’s nuclear threats with Reuters this evening, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg doesn’t look that worried “We monitor very closely what Russia does: so far we haven’t seen any changes in the nuclear posture, in the nuclear readiness. But we monitor this very closely and we stay very vigilant”, he said while calling Putin’s words a not new “dangerous and reckless rhetoric”.
Putin’s establishment set his propagandistic televised speech right on time for this to be amplified and re-bounce from the UN General Assembly.
In a half hour speech US president did not give Putin’s new knavish words the status of immediate alert; he primarily called to widen and strengthen the anti-Russian front reminding us all who is guaranteeing food security funding UN FAO with 40% budget, who is the UNICEF largest donor, who is backing two state solution for the Israel/ Palestine conflict, who is sustaining African Union and that, furthermore, the United States back a future enlargement of the number of permanent and non-permanent in the UN Security Council “That means seats for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean…”.
The message it’s clear and when US talk about UNSC new permanent seats India is the first in line.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “This is not the time of war, neither is it for revenge against the West, nor opposing the West vs the rest. It is time for our sovereign and equal countries to face the challenges of our times together”, words resounded in Macron’s speech today in New York as a sign of the common NATO members attempt to isolate Putin, especially from China and India.
Modi’s statement signals there are boundaries even those who do business with Putin, are not prepared to cross.
But the apparent ‘neutrality’ of the majority of the UN members (besides the vocal UNGA condemnation of Russian invasion of Ukraine) is giving this conflict the margin to last for years. Biden while announcing billions of investments on developing countries through UN funds and partnerships, said in relation to China, “we do not seek conflict, we do not seek cold war, we are not asking any nations to choose between United States and any other partners”.
In two words the US are opening global ‘pre-emptive negations’, as a confirmation that the global repositioning of 193 UN member states (and regional unions), has already started in the wake of the war in Ukraine. The main issue here is how to prevent a global war, regardless this being nuclear or not. There’s a number of regional conflicts which, given the fire triggered by Russia, the threat from China and the ambiguity of India, can escalate and determine the formation of two opposite fronts grouping a certain number of states.
If on the one side we, in Europe, we feel somehow relieved NATO leaders do not see Putin’s atomic bombing threats (or using nuclear plants in Ukraine as weapons) as a real incoming reality, on the other we should feel at least concerned about a call to UN members to position themselves clearly because we cannot give for granted the outcome of that, given that not just China, but also India de facto gave Putin the leverage to carry on the invasion of Ukraine.