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It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Kremlin to insulate the Russian population from the war in Ukraine, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Feb. 18.
A Russian poll in December reported that 52% had either a friend or relative who had served in the war against Ukraine, according to the report.
Andrey Turchak, head of the Russian parliamentary group focused on the war against Ukraine, said on Feb. 16 that the group had presented a report to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
“The report is likely to cover issues such as social support to those mobilized and their families. This issue is likely to become more salient if any further mobilization (be it overt or tacit) takes place,” the ministry said, adding that Putin may well refer to these issues in his address on Feb. 21.
Putin is unlikely to announce measures for further escalation of the war in Ukraine, major new Russian mobilization initiatives, or any other significant policy in his planned address to the Russian parliament on Feb. 21, the Institute for the Study of War said on Feb. 15.
The experts noted that Putin delivered unimpressive addresses in recent months to mark symbolic anniversaries and dates, and likely scheduled his postponed address to coincide with the first anniversary of Russia’s recognition of its puppet statelets in occupied areas of Ukraine's Donbas as independent states.