Putin’s speech: Russia announces “partial mobilization” of citizens for its attack on Ukraine

In a speech, Putin said he would use “every means at our disposal” and would even raise the specter of nuclear weapons if he deemed Russia’s “territorial integrity” to be endangered.

The mobilization means the possibility of calling up citizens who are in reserve and subjecting those with military experience to compulsory conscription, Putin said, adding that the necessary decree had already been signed and entered into force on Wednesday.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Russian television on Wednesday morning that his country would call up 300,000 reservists. “These are not some people who have never heard of the military,” Shoigu said. These are those who have served and have a specialization in military registration and have military experience.

comes after The sudden and successful Ukrainian attack Through the most busy Kharkiv Momentum in the conflict swung toward Kyiv this month. The counterattack motivated and caused Ukraine’s western supporters Anger in Russiawhich has repeatedly hampered its all-out assault on its neighboring country, which it launched seven months ago.

“Our country also has various means of destruction and in some components are more modern than those of NATO countries, and if the territorial integrity of our country is endangered, we will certainly use all the means available to us to protect Russia and our people,” Putin said in his speech on Wednesday, indicating a possible new chapter in the conflict. Continuing for months.

Turning to the possibility of escalation and use of nuclear weapons, Putin said: “Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction.”

The announcement comes as Russia is believed to be facing a manpower shortage and after amendments to Russia’s law on military service announced on Tuesday, which lifted resistance penalties related to military service or coercion for violating an official military order during a period of mobilization or martial law. .

Putin framed the ongoing fight as part of a larger struggle for Russia’s survival against the West whose goal is to “weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country.” Several Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine have announced that they will do so Referendums on whether to join Russia officially This week, votes that were widely dismissed as fakes are meant to bolster Putin’s justifications for more attacks on Ukrainian soil.

“They are already saying directly that they managed to divide the Soviet Union in 1991, and now it’s time for Russia to split into several regions and regions that are fatally hostile to each other,” Putin said.

But NATO leaders dismissed the announcement as a sign of panic in the Kremlin, and reiterated their commitment to supporting the Ukrainian army.

“Russia cannot win this war. But this is a kind of panic,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace added: “No amount of threats and propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war, that the international community is united and that Russia has become a global pariah.”

A destroyed Russian tank in the city of Izyum, which was recently liberated by the Ukrainian armed forces.

Announce referendums

The referendums, which Putin endorsed during his Wednesday speech, may pave the way for Russia’s annexation of the regions, allowing Moscow to frame the current Ukrainian counter-offensive there as an attack on Russia itself, thus providing Moscow with a pretext to escalate its military response.

In what appeared to be a coordinated declaration, the Russia-appointed leaders in the occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia regions, the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic said they intended to hold “elections” beginning on September 23.

The four regions that announced their plans for a referendum make up about 18% of Ukraine’s territory. Russia does not control any of the four in its entirety.

Russian mercenaries bomb Bakhmut as Moscow searches for victory

The expected referendums, contrary to international law supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty, were announced as world leaders arrived in New York for a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, as the war and its aftermath were about to loom.

Ukraine has Refusal to announce referendums In the occupied territories as a “pseudo” stemming from “fear of defeat”, while the country’s Western supporters indicated that they would not change their support for Ukraine.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that “Fake referendums and mobilization are signs of Russian weakness and failure. The United States will never recognize Russia’s claim to Ukraine’s allegedly annexed territory, and we will continue to stand by Ukraine for whatever it costs.”

Putin said on Wednesday that Russia had asked the “people’s republics” and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions to provide support for the referendums and pledged to do “everything to ensure safe conditions for people to express their will.”

Escalation possibility

The ads have already received swift support from Russian politicians. Former Russian President and Deputy Chairman of the Russian National Security Council Dmitry Medvedev publicly supported the referendums in the unilaterally declared Donbass republics, saying that this would be of “great importance” for the “systemic protection” of the population.

“The encroachment on Russian territory is a crime that allows you to use all self-defense forces,” Medvedev said on his Telegram channel, clearly referring to the possibility of a military escalation.

It is unclear what form the escalation could take, but Concerns have been raised Throughout the conflict over whether Russia would resort to using its nuclear stockpile in Ukraine.
Billboard promoting contracted army service the slogan
US President Joe Biden Address these concerns In a 60 Minutes interview earlier this week, when a reporter asked what he would say to the Russian leader regarding the use of chemical or tactical nuclear weapons.

“Don’t do. Don’t. It will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II,” Biden said, adding that the US response to such actions would be “accordingly.”

Putin endorsed a new “Deterrent” strategy In June 2020, the use of nuclear weapons was authorized in response to a non-nuclear attack on Russia that threatened its existence.
On Tuesday, the Russian lower house, the State Duma, amend the law In military service, the punishment is tightened for violating military service duties – such as desertion and evasion – according to state news agency TASS.

The bill provides for a prison sentence of up to 15 years for military service-related resistance or coercion to violate an official military order, including violence or threat to use it, during a period of mobilization or martial law.

CNN’s Josh Pennington, Aliana Pavlova, Jennifer Hansler, Anna Chernova and Tim Lister contributed to this report.

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