From: The Stream

Are Russians souring on the war in Ukraine?

On Thursday, October 6 at 19:30 GMT:
More than seven months after invading Ukraine, Russia is struggling to keep morale high at home following several military losses and what critics are calling a disastrous mobilisation effort.

This week, Russia moved to formally – and illegally – annex parts of eastern Ukraine. But Russian soldiers have already lost some of that ground. Mindful that manpower will be needed to hold this territory, President Vladimir Putin recently announced plans to draft 300,000 servicemen, the nation’s first call to arms since World War II.

However, hundreds of thousands of Russians have responded by fleeing the country over the past two weeks. Others have taken to the streets to express their displeasure. So far, at least 2,400 people have been arrested at rare anti-war protests in more than 30 towns and cities across Russia.

Despite tight controls on what the media can report and what information is available to Russians about the war, many appear to be souring on this new phase. This growing anti-war sentiment could ultimately hurt Putin’s grip on power, according to Nikolay Mitrokhin, a Russia specialist at Germany’s Bremen University.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, he added, “Disappointment in top brass, direct accusations of treason, verbal attacks on commanders – this is stage one. What’s next is disappointment in the commander-in-chief, who can’t improve anything. The third stage is revolutionary with the already-lost war in the background.”

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss Russian reactions to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the new conscription requirements and Russia’s next moves.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Mohamed Vall, @Md_Vall
Senior Correspondent, Al Jazeera English

Stanislav Byshok, @SByshok
Lecturer, Moscow State University

Natalia Arno, @Natalia_Budaeva
President, Free Russia Foundation

Albert Sarkisiants
Former Anti-War Activist