What Putin’s call to arms means for world at large

The partial mobilization of reservists by Russia announced by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday makes it clear that the war in Ukraine is far from over. Another high-intensity conflict is bad news for the global and Indian economy. Mint explained

What does partial mobilization mean?

Russia calls up selected groups of people for military service. These individuals are part of his military reserve units, have served in the past, and bring special skills to the table. Russia’s defense minister estimates that around 300,000 soldiers will be deployed in the first wave of mobilization. The majority of the country’s reserve soldiers have not yet been mobilized. This move differs from what is termed “general mobilization” — it would involve the recruitment of soldiers from the general citizenry and the reorientation of the Russian economy and state towards the goal of winning the war in Ukraine.

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What explains Russia’s latest move?

Russia has suffered a number of setbacks in its military operations in Ukraine. President Zelenskyy’s troops have recaptured areas in northeastern and southern Ukraine. Moscow’s units were poorly equipped and suffered heavy casualties. With the momentum on Kyiv’s side, Putin has ordered a partial mobilization to make up for the troop shortage and halt the Ukrainian advance. This also means that the war is likely to increase in intensity. Contrary to hopes of a negotiated solution, Putin’s order shows that Russia is prepared to prolong the conflict for several months in hopes of regaining military leadership.

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Will it change the course of the war in Ukraine?

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Hard to say. Russia began its invasion with around 150,000 troops, and adding 300,000 troops intensifies the conflict. However, if Moscow’s newly drafted troops remain inadequately equipped and poorly trained, it risks fighting the rest of the war with a demoralized force. Experts believe Russia’s logistics problems will only get worse as winter approaches.

How does it affect the outlook for the world?

A protracted war will dashed hopes for a steady economic recovery. The outbreak of war in February caused global growth forecasts to fall sharply and pushed up commodity and energy prices. Oil prices rose 2.5% after Wednesday’s announcement. It could also exacerbate the standoff between the EU and Russia, which could lead to further difficulties for energy markets. The Asian Development Bank cited the ongoing war as the main reason for cutting growth forecasts in Asia for the current fiscal year.

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Will developments affect India’s economy?

India will need to watch closely how the developing conflict affects the July Black Sea deal, which allowed grain to leave Ukrainian ports and helped push food prices lower. If the deal fails, food prices could rise globally and boost domestic inflation. The energy standoff between the EU and Russia could send prices skyrocketing if Moscow refuses to sell oil at European prices. This would have negative consequences for India’s import bill. A gloomy global economy will also hit India’s exports.

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