August 24/25, 2022 – Action/Decision Date

It has been rumoured for several days now, that something may happen today that will effect the Special Operation by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. It appears that ‘something’ has now been announced by the President, Vladimir Putin. From what I understand of the limited information available at this time, this day will mark a turning point in the struggle to liberate the Donbass republics (already almost complete). The word is that, for the first time in the struggle – which has widened from its original goals, though that so far as I know has not been previously officially acknowledged – the new moves appear to open the way for the Russian Army to be increasingly engaged in Ukraine to support Russia’s formerly stated goals – the fulfillment of which has been held back by both the assistance (weapons, munitions, training, clandestine involvement of military forces) rendered by western nations to Ukraine and also by the limited Russian and allied military forces so far committed to the task.

Is that all now to change?.

I should say, by way of explanation, that no clear indication has yet been given (to my knowledge) on such questions. What we do know is two things.

First, mid-afternoon on August 24, Vladimir Putin has approved instructions on preparations for the 2022/23 academic year in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Luhansk People’s Republic, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv and Kherson regions. The report is brief so I will repeat it in full here…

The Government of the Russian Federation, in cooperation with the executive authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, and the military-civil administrations of the Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, and Kherson regions, should ensure that a one-time payment of 10 thousand rubles is made to one of the parents (legal representatives) of children aged 6 to 18 years (provided that the child reaches the age of 6 later than September 1, 2022.children living in the territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Luhansk People’s Republic, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv and Kherson regions, if such children started studying in general education organizations located in these territories no later than September 15, 2022.

The deadline is October 1, 2022.

Responsible person: Mishustin M. V.

Instruction on preparation for the 2022/23 academic year in the DPR, LPR, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv and Kherson regions – Official website of the Russian President

From that report, I doubt anyone would miss the fact that it includes not only the Donbass republics but also the region of Kherson, as well as the regions of Zaporizhia and Kharkiv, which are at this date not fully liberated. This no doubt gives us a hint, since I believe (needs to be confirmed) the Russian 2022/23 academic year begins in September, as to where the Special Operation expects to be by that time (not more than a month from now).

To this end, and forming the second point, today, August 25, a decree was signed by President Putin to increase the size of the Russian military forces, the army by some 137,000 personnel. The details are scant at the moment and all I know is included in the media reports below.

Here – Putin signed a decree on increasing the number of military personnel – RIA Novosti

and here – The regular number of military personnel of the Russian Armed Forces increased to 1.15 million – Izvestia

Taken together, on consecutive days around Russia’s National Flag Day, while there is as yet no suggestion in these reports that there will be increased military involvement in the Special Operation, one may ask ‘what other purpose would this move be made for’?

No doubt time will reveal all.

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