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By Gontran de Quillacq
On September 25, 2022

The Axis of Authoritarians isn’t doing too well…

Ukraine's military successes are causing quite a stir among its main opponents. Russia is facing protests and an exodus after mobilizing, Iranian women are protesting and China's Xi Jinping would have been deposed. The Axis of Authoritarians isn't doing too well...

Ukraine’s military successes are causing quite a stir inside its main opponents. Russia, China and Iran, the new Axis of Authoritarians, are all facing internal protests.




Mobilization, protest and exodus in Russia

  • The Russian Duma blocked the country’s frontiers to prevent Russian men from leaving the country. 24 hours later, Putin declared a partial mobilization. 300,000 reservist men are called to serve. A hidden clause would permit 1 million in total.
  • Russians have descended on the streets. Despite the media controls, it is evident that hundreds of arrests followed, now carrying jail sentences of up to 15 year. Public protesters are rumored to have been served mobilization papers upon arrests and quickly sent to the military regiments. The mobilization is described as disorganized and chaotic.


  • There are large traffic jams at the frontiers. All plane tickets to non-visa neighbors were instantly sold out.  Europe must decide if it will open its frontiers to the draft dodgers.
  • The political cost for Putin is high. The economic impact will be important. Both the Euro and the ruble tumbled, but the long term damage to Russia is yet to be determined.
  • Western analysts consider this a display of weakness, which will not significantly influence the Ukraine war. Deploying badly selected, untrained and unequipped soldiers will make them cannon-fodder more than influence the likely outcome – that Russia cannot win this war.


Russia stepping up in Ukraine


International reactions

  • Russia is starting referendums in the occupied Ukrainian territories, which would let it declare itself under threat, hence justifying the use of nuclear force.
  • The White House stated that it will never recognize the ‘sham’ votes. The G7 agrees.
  • The US also stated that breaking the taboo of nuclear strikes would bring worldwide condemnations and the strongest reactions against Russia (but intentionally did not disclosed what they would be).
  • Russia was called for accountability at the UN’s Security Council, notably for war crimes. Lavrov arrived late, criticized the council and left early.









Protests in Iran


And a coup in China?

  • And now, Xi Jinping is rumored to have been deposed in a coup. He would have been assigned to house arrest upon his return from the SCO summit.
  • 6,000 internal flights (59%) have been suspended.
  • General Li Qiaoming would be assuming powers.
  • Chinese officials deny.




Russia, China, and Iran, the new Axis of Authoritarians, isn’t doing too well… Is that the cost of oppressing populations for decades? Or the positive side-effect of the Ukrainian war?





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