It’s not just Russian forces in Ukraine that are in retreat. Putin himself is clearly afraid. He’s done something he plainly didn’t want to do. Announcing mobilization shows he fears his fascist rivals more than he fears the Russian public.
So Kamil Galeev, who is worthy of a follow on Twitter, disagrees:
“I disagree. I think this is not about "fascist rivals" (he deeply despises the public politics) but about the need to restore control over the ruling clique. Show them all he is still in charge, that he still commands obedience. Otherwise, why do his own henchmen need him?”
I’m not sure I understand the difference, but I might be blinded by my hyper-librul-westerner perspective. This looks like a distinction without a difference.
That said, Galeev argues that Pout-Pout’s humiliation at that conference with the Central Asian Stans may have prompted this course of action.