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Danilov: total mobilisation possible in Russia after presidential election

Another victory for Putin will "cement" his regime, says NSDC Secretary. 

Danilov: total mobilisation possible in Russia after presidential election
Photo: NSDC

Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksiy Danilov believes that Ukraine's strategic goal is to preserve the state and people, ensure the development of the nation and the growth of the population's welfare. The strategic goals of the Russian Federation are opposite to Ukraine's - the destruction of the state of Ukraine and the absorption of the Ukrainian ethnic group.

First and foremost, Ukraine needs to liberate the entire territory of the state within the 1991 borders and protect itself from repeating the aggression in the future. He said this at the Halifax International Security Forum.

"The nature of the fighting at the front is changing. Purely military measures are not enough to achieve our goals. We need a comprehensive approach that will include mutually agreed measures in the military, political, economic, financial, industrial, technological, diplomatic, social, humanitarian spheres, etc.", he said.

Ukraine is also aware of the difference between its goals and those of some of its Western allies regarding Crimea.

He said that Ukraine needs external security guarantees, and the most effective ones, but not the only and exclusive one, is NATO membership. After the war, the state is ready to play the role of a responsible participant, a contributor (not a consumer), a reliable partner within the civilised world based on rules and democratic values.

"It is critically important to stop political disputes, speculation around the elections, and the unity of the elites," he added.

Regarding the economy, the NSDC Secretary said that Ukraine's financial and socio-economic survival in 2024-2025 requires international and domestic mobilisation.

Russia, on the other hand, is preparing for a long war and is increasingly shifting its economy to a military orientation.

"The Kremlin is not going to abandon this goal, it is preparing for a long war. Russia has managed to adapt and is constantly pouring money into the defence sector. Russia has proved more resilient to Western sanctions than expected. The country's economy is increasingly shifting to a military focus. Total mobilisation is possible after the 2024 presidential election," he said.

Danilov added that the presidential election in Russia on 17 March 2024 is a landmark date for the Kremlin.

"After Putin's next enthronement, the regime will be cemented, and in fact, its hands will be untied. Therefore, Ukraine and the international community have 3-4 months to prepare accordingly," he said.

Danilov believes that the most effective way to prevent repeated aggression is to "decompose" Russia into several parts in a controlled manner.

"After all, the disintegration of Russia will automatically lead to the dismantling of the Putin regime, the desovereignisation of Russia, as well as its denuclearisation and demilitarisation," he said.

Before that, the international community must provide answers to the following questions: what is the plan to minimise nuclear risks and non-proliferation of biological, chemical and other weapons of mass destruction? What to do with the flow of refugees in the event of a civil war in Russia? What should be the political strategy of interaction with new territorial entities on the territory of Russia?

Danilov also stressed that Ukraine is concerned that discussions have intensified among some partners about the need for negotiations, consultations, and meetings with Russia to discuss the war in Ukraine and the ceasefire.

Russia has officially conducted only one wave of mobilisation, announced in September 2022. The Russian authorities claimed to have drafted about 300,000 people, but the actual numbers may be higher, and the draft itself has not actually stopped - it is not disclosed.

According to the DIU, Russia mobilises about 20,000 people every month. This number includes imprisoned criminals who used to be recruited by PMCs and now are contracted by the Ministry of Defence. 

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