Over Seven Hundred Demonstrators Against Mobilization Arrested in Russia; Moscow increases penalties for surrendering or refusing to fight

According to Washington, Vladimir Putin refused to allow Russian troops to withdraw from Kherson

As the Russian military faces setbacks in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin is asserting himself on strategic decisions. According to US officials, cited The The New York TimesThe withdrawal came as Russian forces in Kherson, the last Russian-held regional capital, came under fire from a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south of the country. Putin refused.

The withdrawal of the Russian army would have allowed the withdrawal of soldiers in an orderly manner, while preserving military equipment and the lives of many of them. But that would have been another defeat in a war of aggression launched by the Russian president. Faced with the defeat of his army, dominated by Ukrainian counterattacks in the north and south of the country, Mr Putin accelerates emergency decisions.

Whereas A merger vote is underway In Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine, A “Partial Mobilization” Announced in Russia. A request from officials in the field alerted the president to personnel and logistical problems. When he asked them on the matter, he refused their request for permission to leave the city of Kherson. According to US officials, this growing involvement of the president in strategic decisions has displeased Russian military ranks. The New York Times.

According to the American newspaper, the denial would have also severely damaged the morale of Russian troops. Most groups feel cut off from their supply lines, left to their fate in the face of advancing Ukrainians, and may be sacrificed. According to US intelligence, Ukrainian forces were on track to repeat their exploits in the south in the north, where they recaptured large swathes of land and strategic cities in September.

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Kherson is a strategic city. Kherson, the first major city to fall into Russian hands at the start of the war, is now the only regional capital under Russian control, with an annexation referendum underway. U.S. officials say that if the Ukrainians can regain it, they could try to retake Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

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