Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Partial mobilization of one’s own country’s army Wednesday, calling the reservoirs a significant increase in their war in ukraine Later battlefield shocks left facing the Kremlin increasing pressure of action,
In a rare national address, the Russian leader endorsed a plan for Russia to annex the occupied territories of southern and eastern Ukraine, threatening nuclear retaliation if Kyiv continues its efforts to reclaim that land. appears to give.
The speech comes just a day after four Russian-controlled regions announced they would vote on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia this week, in a plan dismissed as a desperate “sham” by Kyiv and its Western allies. was given whose purpose was to stop one. Successful counter-attack by Ukrainian troops,
Believing that Russia would use all means at its disposal to defend its territory, Putin accused the West of nuclear blackmail and warned: “I am not bluffing.”
The Russian leader’s words came hours after he was widely expected to speak on Tuesday night. It is not clear why his speech was delayed.
Speaking after Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said an initial 300,000 reservists would be called.
Only Russian citizens who are currently in reserve and who have previous military experience will be subject to mobilization, Putin said. He said those called would also undergo additional training, with mobilization starting immediately.
Bridget Brink, US Ambassador to Ukraine, said in response: “Evening referendums and mobilization are signs of weakness, Russian failure.”
“The United States will never recognize Russia’s claim on Ukraine’s territory, and we will stand by Ukraine as long as it is necessary,” she said.
Since launching his full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Putin has resisted calls from nationalist supporters and pro-military bloggers for a general mobilization.
On Wednesday, the Russian leader halted the move – which could significantly amplify his ailing forces, but will take time and may also prove unpopular with the public the Kremlin has sought to protect from the effects of the war.
It remains to be seen how the announcement of partial mobilization will be received by the regular Russians.
The sudden flurry of activity indicated that the Kremlin intended not only to excavate, but to intensify its efforts in a conflict that dragged on for nearly seven months and was recently pulled away from its forces. Its public supporters have expressed delight at the prospect of an “all-round war” and a new confrontation with the West.
Russian-backed separatist officials in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as in the southern Kherson region and partly-occupied Zaporizhzhya, announced on Tuesday that they would vote on formally joining Russia over four days starting Friday. . It was not clear whether the proposed merger would cover the entire territory of the provinces or only the areas currently occupied by the Russian military.
Russia’s parliament also approved a bill to toughen the penalties for a number of crimes, including desertion and surrender, if they are committed during periods of mobilization or martial law.
The rapid development came just a week after Ukraine successfully reclaimed areas of territory in its northeast, with many observers saying the conflict may have marked a decisive turn.
Kyiv’s forces are pressing to make more profits in Luhansk and Donetsk, which together make up the industrial Donbass region that Moscow has made its primary target after failing to seize the capital, Kyiv. And it is also conducting a second simultaneous counter-offensive in the south in an effort to reduce Russian forces gathered around the strategically important city of Kherson and the Black Sea coast.
The Kremlin has insisted it is carrying out its “special military operation” in Ukraine as planned, but military observers have said Russian forces are exhausted and increasingly frustrated.
Under mounting pressure, Putin has now acted – although it was unclear how the move would have an immediate impact on the ground.
Kyiv has received a boost from Western supplied weapons, including a US-supplied long-range rocket system, leading voices on Russian state media to argue that the country is fighting not only Ukraine but NATO as well.
Washington and its allies on Tuesday vowed to stand with Kyiv and condemned the planned vote, saying they would never recognize it.
In 2014 Russia voted to annex the Crimean peninsula, with most of the international community rejecting the results.
But this time the referendum comes in the midst of a full-scale offensive with which Putin is determined to move forward.