Russia may begin full mobilization after the 2024 Russian presidential election on March 17, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksii Danilov warned in a speech to the International Security Forum in Halifax, Canada, on Nov. 20.
"After (Russian dictator Vladimir) Putin’s (next) enthronement, the regime will be anchored, (which) basically means giving it a free hand. That is why Ukraine and the global community have 3-4 months to prepare relevantly," Danilov said.
Russia is moving toward a total war footing and is ready for a long war, according to Danilov. In addition, Russia appears to have the ability to adapt and be surprisingly resilient in the face of wide-ranging sanctions.
Danilov also suggested that there is growing concern in Ukraine that its Western allies are increasingly thinking about negotiating with Russia, potentially by seeking a ceasefire, a notion that is rooted in a fear of Russia that has persisted despite the poor performance of the Russian military since Feb. 24, 2022.
Such temptations should be resisted, Danilov said, because Russia only understands the "language of force."
Without a concerted effort from the West to continue to support Ukraine and to seek a full collapse of the Putin regime, "a new “axis of evil” awaits the world in 15-20 years. This axis will include not only (North Korea), China, Iran, and Russia, but also some European countries."
He did not name which European countries he was referring to.
Putin is expected to announce that he will seek another term but has not made an official announcement yet. It is unclear if other candidates will nominally participate, but if Putin decides to run, his victory is all but assured.
Freedom House, a nonprofit advocating international democracy, gave Russia a 0/4 score in its 2022 report card on political freedoms in the country.
The U.K. Defense Ministry said on Oct. 10 that chances of a new wave of mobilization being announced before the election were low. It did not, however, comment on the possibility of further mobilization after the election.