Russia will force partial mobilization of its population to further support the war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday morning in a much-anticipated pre-recorded address.
The mobilization will take effect immediately and affect reserves and those who previously served in the Russian Armed Forces.
“We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve are eligible for conscription, and, above all, those who have served in the army and have certain military specializations and relevant experience. Only those who have will be conscripted,” he said.
Russia is believed to have up to 2 million reservists, but only a small percentage receive regular refresher training. However, a partial mobilization order could put about 300,000 former active forces into action against Ukraine.
Putin’s address to the nation takes place the day after Russian-controlled areas in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold a vote About becoming an integral part of Russia.
The Kremlin-backed effort to swallow up the four regions could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war following Ukraine’s success on the battlefield.
The referendum, which was expected to take from the first months of the war, will begin on Friday in the eastern Donbass regions of Luhansk and Donetsk and the southern Kherson and Zaporizhiya and Donetsk regions.
Putin said the decision to partially mobilize was “a threat to the protection of the Motherland and its sovereignty and territorial integrity facing us, the security of our people and those of the liberated territories. It is adequate enough for
Putin threatens Ukraine’s Western allies, saying ‘it’s not a bluff’
Avoiding calling Russia’s all-out aggression against its neighbor a war, Putin said in his speech that the West was to blame for the ongoing conflict, with Moscow fighting “the entire Western military complex”. Kyiv said it was “virtually under command”. of its Western Advisors’.
“Washington, Brussels and London will push Kyiv directly” to challenge Russia, he argued.
Putin also accused Western countries of engaging in “nuclear threats” and responded to “statements of high-level representatives of major NATO countries about the possible use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia.” Mentioned.
“For those who allow such statements about Russia, our country also has various means of destruction, is more modern than the individual components and NATO countries, and if our territorial integrity is threatened, we should We will definitely use all the means at our disposal to protect our people,” Putin said.
“This is not a bluff,” he stressed.
Putin also repeated earlier statements that Russia needs to increase production of ammunition and new weapons systems.
The decision to enact partial mobilization is another signal that Russia is digging into a potentially protracted conflict.
The Kremlin-controlled lower house (the lower house of the Russian parliament) voted on Tuesday to strengthen laws against desertion, surrender and looting by Russian troops.
MPs also voted to introduce the possibility of imprisonment for 10 years for soldiers who refuse to fight.
As expected, the law, if approved by the Senate and signed by President Putin, will strengthen the hands of commanders against reported demoralization among soldiers.