Impeachment, mobilization order, Nord Stream sabotage – Vladimir Putin’s iron fist is plunging one way into humanity’s suffering and his own demise.
On Sep. 8, a group of Russian officials from Moscow and St. Petersburg appealed to the State Duma, or the Lower House of the Federal Assembly of Russia, to overthrow Putin on charges of high treason over Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which Kremlin officials still claim to be a “special military operation.”
Though officials who broke this news to the public have been fined for “discrediting authorities” and are facing the possible dissolution of their legislative districts, Putin’s grasp on the throne is slipping and for well-deserved reasons.
As Nikita Yuferev, a municipal deputy among the group protesting local politicians was fined approximately 730 U.S. dollars and threatened with imprisonment for speaking out against Putin on Twitter, his words revealed the rotting flesh under Putin’s authoritarian disguise: the “special military operation” that supposed to make him the Charlemagne of Russia only led to numerous deaths of Russian servicemen, acute crises in the economy, and the doubling expansion of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). And as much as Putin and the Kremlin continue to deny the disastrous outcomes of the Russo-Ukrainian war, it is crystal clear that the effects of this war contradict all aspects of Russian prosperity, especially during the aftermath of a devastating global pandemic. Thus, alarming evidence is piling up and killing Putin’s credibility in the circle of elite politicians – accelerated by recent protests and massive outmigration.
Putin ordered the mobilization of 300,000 military recruits to fight against Ukraine on Sep. 21. Even though the mobilization order only applies to military-age men with military experience as of now, protests and mass out-migration erupted within the past week: thousands of protestors against the military draft have been arrested, and according to Kazakhstan officials, 98,000 Russians have flooded into Kazakhstan.
Stuck in traffic at a Russian exit route, a 37-year-old man who fled Russia on Sep. 26 explains his reasons to flee in spite of having no military experience to qualify for the draft.
“There is a risk later that you will simply find yourself in a cage,” the anonymous man said. “I am preparing myself for a hard time. I am preparing myself [in the case that] I will not know where to sleep [or] what I am going to eat.”
The fear of tightening border restrictions and expansion of draft requirements is not a special case: peaking public distrust is taken beyond the streets of Russia, diffusing across the rapid web of the internet – Russians are not only in their fight against gross oppression.
While censorship efforts through fines, arrests, imprisonment, and torture are sweeping across Russia, the United Nations’ calls for the release of Russian Draft protestors mercilessly exposes Russian reality. In addition, though the Kremlin and Putin have not issued a public response, Tiktok and Youtube videos showing solidarity with the fleeing Russians flooding social media. It is clear that Putin’s rash decision to draft is facing global backlash.
In addition, two Nord Stream pipes has been found damaged and leaking large amounts of natural gas into the Baltic Sea on Sep. 26; making Putin’s last-ditch efforts to salvage his eternal throne only lead to one catastrophe after another. Not only are European leaders suspecting secret Russian sabotage on the Nord Stream pipes attempting to cut off the energy supply to Ukraine, but the pollution caused by this leakage is also detrimental to warming the Earth.
All in all, though the scope of political, societal, and environmental damage caused by the Russo-Ukrainian war goes far beyond the mere few that are mentioned in this article, the staggering amounts of evidence prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Putin’s crown is decaying in political opposition and global hatred. And while many argue that the Western world takes a passive approach through ineffective sanctions, Putin’s rash orders one after another leaves no need for war-waging response actions – there is not much time left for the Putin Empire.