Putin's attempts to "protect" Russians from general mobilization may cause resistance among other ethnic groups – ISW
19 July, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin's alleged attempts to "protect" ethnic Russians from general mobilization may provoke resistance from some other ethnic groups, which appear to bear a disproportionately large burden of the war, announced the American Institute for the Study of War in its latest update.

The analysts previously noted that battalions, which include troops from Chechnya, South Ossetia, Tuva, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, and others, are fighting against Ukraine.

"These indicators suggest that Putin may be unwilling to conduct general mobilization in part due to a reluctance to mobilize large numbers of ethnic Russians," the ISW said.

The experts added that Putin's desire for non-Russian ethnic groups to bear the brunt of the war could create internal tensions in the regions.

Analysts also say that Russian troops may be trying to create conditions for an offensive southwest of Izyum to supplement the offensive toward Slovyansk from southeast Izyum or open a new offensive toward Kramatorsk.

At the same time, the ISW added that Russian troops are unlikely to successfully advance to Kramatorsk from Barvinkove ​​due to the difficult terrain of this area.

Other conclusions of researchers regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war as of July 18:

  • The Russian Ministry of Defense’s meeting with the leadership of the Eastern grouping of forces in Ukraine suggests that the Kremlin will not focus on seizing Slovyansk at this stage of the campaign but will instead prioritize attempting to seize Siversk and Bakhmut;
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s likely effort to put the burden of supporting operations in Ukraine on ethnic minorities to avoid conducting a general mobilization of ethnic Russians may be sparking resistance in ethnic enclaves in Russia;
  • Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks east of Siversk and south of Bakhmut;
  • Russian forces intensified efforts to advance on Avdiivka and conducted limited ground assaults along the Donetsk City-Avdiivka frontline;
  • Russian authorities are continuing to integrate occupied areas into the Russian trade economy.