'Tip of the iceberg': Putin's 'desperate' mobilisation risks 'mutiny' on frontlines


He said: “There’s a real risk, if you’re a man, going to a demonstration you’ve got a good chance of being sent to the front from that demonstration.

“Because they’ll find some way: ‘Oh, you didn’t do your military service before, or you have done your military service. So you’re useful to us.’ You can get anyone if you want.”

Although the protests in Moscow and St Petersburg are relatively small, they likely represent a much larger percentage of the population. Due to the risk involved in protesting, it is likely many are too afraid to make their feelings known.

Prof Duncan added: “So it’s not surprising, then, that there’s not very many of them. What is very clear is that so many people are willing to take the risk because, undoubtedly, they’re just the tip of the iceberg of people who think that way and they’re worried.”

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