Putin announces ‘partial mobilization’ of Russian citizens for Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin during a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller

Vladimir Putin during a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller. Photo: The Presidential Press and Information Office / kremlin.ru. CC BY 4.0.

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, announced on Wednesday a “partial mobilization” of the civilian population in the middle of the war in Ukraine, where Russian forces have suffered several setbacks in recent weeks as a result of a series of counter-offensives by Ukrainian troops.

The president explained that the activities related to this mobilization will start this Wednesday and stressed that only reservists, mainly those with experience and who have completed compulsory military service, will be called up. Before being sent to their units, they will receive additional training.

Thus, he signed a decree presented by the Russian Defense Ministry with the aim of “protecting Russia, its sovereignty and territorial integrity” and stressed that the objectives of the invasion of Ukraine “remain unchanged”. He has also stressed that the citizens of Russia can be sure that the territorial integrity, independence and freedom of the country are guaranteed.

In a televised message to the nation, the Russian president has assured that the aim of the West is to “weaken, divide and finally destroy” his country and has added that the Westerners “openly say that in 1991 they were able to dismember the Soviet Union and now Russia’s turn has come.” In this line he has threatened to use “all available means” and has warned that those who are trying to use “nuclear blackmail” against Russia will find that “the wind could blow in their direction.” “I am not lying,” he has warned.

“It is not only about the Western-sponsored attacks on the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, which can lead to an atomic catastrophe, but also about the statements of NATO top officials about the possibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia,” he said.

Putin argued that the Russian authorities “have no right to let people living in Ukraine near the border be destroyed by executioners” and pledged support for the referendums announced by the pro-Russian authorities of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporiyia regions.

He also stressed that the Russian forces present in Ukraine operate along a line of contact of more than a thousand kilometers and said that they are facing “the entire Western military machine”, as reported by the Russian news agency Interfax.

“Washington, London and Brussels are directly pushing Kiev to move military operations to our territory. They no longer hide that Russia must be defeated by all means on the battlefield, followed by the deprivation of all political, economic and cultural sovereignty,” he has complained.

Putin’s announcement came in a speech earlier in the day, after his remarks, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, were postponed several times for unspecified reasons.

Following Putin’s speech, the Minister of Defense, Sergey Shoigu, has stated that 300,000 reservists will be called up. He also specified that only men will be called to the front.

The bill, which includes the concepts “mobilization,” “martial law” and “period of war,” previously not mentioned in the Russian Criminal Code, will be reviewed Wednesday by the Federation Council – the upper house – for approval and sent to the president for ratification.

-Thailand News (TN)

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