Mobilization is a sign of weakness, not strength
Radically changing the game both inside and outside the country, raising the stakes, looks like a manifestation of Putin's weakness rather than strength. Inside the country, his main priority has been to maintain complete control over the political space and elites. Today, to do that, he has to maneuver between the saner war party and the crazy war party and make tough decisions. By announcing the mobilization, Putin took a step toward the party of insane war mongers from which he had refrained for a long time. And this step, regardless of the Kremlin's plans, could have very serious consequences – not so much for intra-elite balance sheets or in the military theater, but for Russian society. Already doomed by the inability of the system to govern, the mobilization should make society reconsider its attitude toward war. Now, the war is no longer distant and alien for the public: it comes to every home, and its meaning remains unclear and far from the majority. And no referendum will force people to think of Zaporizhzhia Region, where “the enemy will attack Russia,” as their homeland for which one should give his life.