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Back in early 2008 (for instance) there was a Gallup poll on whether the US public approved of the (then) troop surge in Iraq. Somewhat unsurprisingly [to me], in that instance the results were fairly skewed along party lines (>= 70% of Republicans approved while less than 30% of the Democrats did.) The might be other surges (for other wars) where the results were less skewed but I haven't researched that any further. (Ok, I actually did look a bit, now. The next year's surge in Afghanistan was a lot less divided along party lines, but still divided the US public as a whole in almost equal proportions. Also, polls on such matters seem to have fairly high variability in responses over time, even regarding the same conflict area.)

Anyway, what I want to ask: given the relatively slow progress that Russia is making in the Donetsk (although they fully taken Luhanks), and given that that was a declared a goal of the war, i.e. to fully recapture the Donbas to prevent a genocide there (according to the Kremlin's claims), is there a "war-surge party" in Russia? I mean if there's a genocide against Russians possible or ongoing, doesn't that require a more serious mobilization than the trench warfare we've seen for the last 4-5 months? Are there any polls on the matter in Russia or political parties asking for a troop surge in the Donbas?

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    Are opinion polls taken in Russia at this time likely to fair honest unbiased etc.
    – James K
    Aug 20 at 19:13
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    @JamesK: maybe not, that's why I'm asking for statements from political parties as well. One thing that the Kremlin does allow is more nationalist "pocket opposition" parties like that of (the recently deceased) Zhirinovsky.
    – Fizz
    Aug 20 at 19:18
  • The Gallup polls don't mean that the Republican was a war surge party at the time.
    – Joe W
    Aug 20 at 20:03
  • @JoeW; I said "troop surge" in re that poll. I could look up polls from the Vietnam or Korea era, but those don't pop up in google on a quick search. Anyway, I've changed the title to "troop surge".
    – Fizz
    Aug 20 at 20:32
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    @Fizz troop surge is a very specific term that started out in 2006/2007, under Bush and Gen. Petraeus, for Iraq. Since then it has seen much wider use, but it really did seem, at least to me, to be a newly commonplace term at the time. So, doubt you'd find it on Korea/Vietnam timelines. Westmoreland probably had similar terms when repeat-asking for "20000 more men to win the war", but those would have fairly toxic historical associations, hence the use of new terminology in 2006. Aug 20 at 23:12

3 Answers 3

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Russia's "surge party" is Igor Strelkov who is claiming that the "special military operation" is failing and a widespread mobilization of enlisted reservists is needed every time he gets a chance to talk.

He was saying that as early as late April (even before Russia has disengaged from Kiev theatre).

That's quite popular opinion in the pro-Russian circles, although not a dominant one.

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  • So, only extra-parliamentary opposition dares to take this position?
    – Fizz
    Aug 20 at 20:36
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    In Russian Federation, "Duma is not a place for discussion" as one of its speakers has said. That's just not the place you go to in the search of positions.
    – alamar
    Aug 20 at 20:41
  • Even if that's the case, leaders of parties represented in the Duma could make their position(s) know in the press etc.
    – Fizz
    Aug 20 at 20:51
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    Think of leaders of parties represented in the Duma as of CEOs of large political corporations. As such, they prefer to not have any opinion and avoid making their position known, out of fear that it would not pan out. The important outlier was Zhirinovsky who had so many opinions that they could be ignored to the same effect (think Elon Musk).
    – alamar
    Aug 20 at 20:58
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    ISW talks about Strelkov, he's not the only one either, according to them - they refer to the lot as milbloggers. Might be similar to the, minority, post-Vietnam sentiment that, if the US had just "done it right, rather than listening to those damn hippies, they would have won". Aug 20 at 22:07
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The leader of the Communist Party urged to urgently convene the Council of the Duma because of the special operation as can be read in this sorce.

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    I managed to find a longer interview with "Roman Kononenko, a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF)" (in English). He fairly overtly decries "the decision to abandon the North", i.e. the pullback from around Kyiv as well.
    – Fizz
    Aug 21 at 0:12
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I've accepted convert's answer because while the extra-parliamentary oppn (milblogers etc) have definitely been most regularly critical of Putin on this, Zyuganov (who at least on paper is more influential in terms of votes etc.) has now bitten the bullet and openly called it a war (despite this being illegal!) and asked for serious measures:

The head of Russia’s Communist Party, these days considered the closest thing to an opposition political party, had frank words about the “extremely difficult and troubling circumstances” facing lawmakers in the wake of Ukraine’s stunning battlefield successes.

“For as long as I can remember, there has never been such a situation like this,” Gennady Zyuganov told Russia’s lower house of parliament on September 13. “The special military operation…in Ukraine has turned into a full-fledged war.”

“A war and a special operation differ at their core,” he continued. “A war cannot be ended, even if you want: You take it to the very end, either victory or defeat. The question of victory in the Donbas is the question of our historical requirements, and everyone in this hall should realistically assess the situation.”

His comments differed slightly, though significantly, from the prepared remarks released by his party: “The maximum mobilization of forces and resources is now required.”

[...] Merely calling the Ukraine operation a “war” -- instead of using the Kremlin’s preferred euphemism “special military operation” -- was already problematic under laws rushed through parliament in March. Critics who have termed it a “war” or an “invasion” have faced prosecution on charges of discrediting the armed forces or spreading false news about them.

And some United Russia (Putin's party) members have actually echoed that:

“Without full mobilization, moving to a war footing, including for the economy, we will not achieve proper results,” Mikhail Sheremet, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party member who sits on the Duma’s Security Committee, said in a radio interview.

And yeah, the milbloggers and... Kadyrov have pitched in:

Igor Girkin, a notorious former intelligence officer who played an instrumental role when war first erupted in the Donbas in 2014 and who is now an outspoken critic of the Russian military, said that mobilization was the "last chance" for victory. [...]

“If you ask me my opinion as Ramzan Kadyrov, I would declare martial law, I would declare mobilization,” the strongman Chechen leader who oversees a sizable militia that has fought in several battles in Ukraine, said.

So, it's rather big troop-surge cros-parities... party/movement.

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  • The usual reminder that "calling it a war is illegal" is a speculation.
    – alamar
    Sep 15 at 18:41
  • @alamar: yeah, apparently only "no to war" is illegal.
    – Fizz
    Sep 15 at 18:43
  • That one is likely to cause problems, yeah.
    – alamar
    Sep 15 at 18:50

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