Pressure on Vladimir Putin is increasing and he has responded by increasing security around Russia.

Why this is happening
The “special military operation” he undertook has not gone as expected. The Ukrainian counteroffensive is causing Russia to lose territory that it had previously held. In the meantime, persistent shelling has been occurring in the Russian territories that border Ukraine.

Additionally, the Kremlin’s declaration of “partial mobilization” last month caused significant fear in Russian society. Security is now more stringent. not just in Russia, but also in the seized parts of Ukraine.

What he is doing
Vladimir Putin has declared martial law in the four Ukrainian provinces he claims to have annexed—Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson—by means of a Kremlin order. However, the head of the Kremlin has also strengthened security across Russia by introducing three distinct security levels.

A “medium level of response” has been announced in the Crimean Peninsula that has been annexed, as well as in the bordering districts of Belgorod, Bryansk, Krasnodar, and Rostov.  Increased security and public order are among the measures, and the ordinance also calls for limits on traffic flow and on entering and leaving specific areas.

“Higher preparedness” is the next rung below. This holds true for Moscow and the rest of Russia’s central and southern regions. In addition to “tighter public order security,” the presidential decree specifies “vehicle searches and traffic restrictions.” The rest of the nation, which includes Siberia, the Russian Far East, and northern Russia, has the lowest level of security.

The implications
President Putin’s security system may be exploited by the government to impose restrictions on freedoms across Russia and mobilize resources for the special military operation. There is also nothing to stop regions from being “upgraded” to a higher security level, including martial law, if the security situation in Russia worsens.

Will anything change
Change is not imminent but it doesn’t look like Ukrainian soldiers to surrender their guns. Ukraine is committed to regaining lost ground. Vladimir Putin is committed to maintaining power and the territories he annexed.

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