Russian President, Vladimir Putin's popularity has been significantly affected by the first partial mobilization, according to Abdul Jalil Mousai, a specialist in Russian affairs for Al Arabiya news channel. The Russian government has had to offer incentives to encourage volunteers to join the mobilization efforts, highlighting potential resistance or reluctance within the population.
Mobilization and Putin's Popularity
The partial mobilization has shaken Putin's popularity. The necessity to incentivize volunteers to join the mobilization efforts indicates a possible reluctance among the population to participate. This development signifies a potential shift in public sentiment towards the Russian leader, whose popularity has historically been robust.
Body Doubles and Public Appearances
A recent AI-driven linguistic and voice analysis has fueled speculations about Putin using body doubles for public appearances. The analysis revealed notable differences in speaker recognition features between two significant speeches, adding more weight to these speculations. These theories gained more attention during the Covid-19 pandemic, with social media awash with memes and jokes about Putin's supposed body doubles.
Internal Military Conflicts
Recent military upheavals, including a mutiny against Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the subsequent dismissal of a Russian general, have raised questions about the loyalty of senior officials in the armed forces. The weak military response to the mutiny suggests potential conflicts within the Russian military, casting doubt on senior officials' allegiance to the Kremlin.
Political Landscape and the War through Russian Eyes
The construction of authoritarianism in modern Russia, Putin's visit to Beijing, and secretly recorded calls of Russian soldiers in Ukraine reveal various facets of the current Russian political landscape. While the transition from a free state to an authoritarian regime begs the question of whether it was solely attributed to Putin or influenced by the people, the soldier's recordings offer a rare glimpse into the human cost of the conflict.
Overall, these developments highlight the complex and evolving political situation in Russia, with potential implications for Putin's popularity and the country's international relations.