Putin orders partial military mobilization starting today to defend Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to decree a partial military mobilization. So far, Moscow has resisted such a move despite mounting losses, largely to avoid public discontent.
In a pre-recorded speech that delayed its broadcast, scheduled for Tuesday night, Putin has justified his military aggression and uttered for the first time the word “war”: “Westerners pushed Ukraine into war with us. Kiev has refused to negotiate peace and is trying to get nuclear weapons,” the Russian president has stated.
Putin has accused the West of engaging in nuclear blackmail against Russia. In his televised address, the Russian leader has warned that Russia has “many weapons to respond” to what he calls Western threats.
Mobilization of reservists
The Defense Ministry has arranged to call up military reservists to active duty as early as this Wednesday, as Russia faces a protracted conflict against Ukraine. The Armed Forces will only call up military reservists, the president has clarified, promising to provide them with additional training along with remuneration corresponding to those in active military service.
In his speech, Putin insisted on the usual line of Russian propaganda, asserting that the Ukrainian government has reinforced its army with NATO-trained troops, many of whom are “neo-Nazi extremists”.
Annexation referendums in the Donbas
Four Russian-occupied regions have announced their referendum plans to join the Russian Federation. The West regards the votes as farcical and illegal. If these Ukrainian regions become Russian soil, Moscow can present the fighting on occupied territory as an attack on Russia. There Putin finds the justification for mobilizing part of his two million military reservists.
From the Kremlin environment they frame the referendums for the occupied regions as an ultimatum to the West to accept Russian territorial gains or face an all-out war with a nuclear-armed enemy.