‘Will use all available means, this is not a bluff’: Russia’s Putin announces partial military mobilisation

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilisation in the country in order to put the economy at a “wartime footing” as the invasion of Ukraine continues. In a pre-recorded speech which was televised all around the country, Putin said that the decision taken “to defend the motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity” will be viewed as an escalation by the West. 

According to Reuters, Putin also said that the West “wants to destroy our country” and claimed that they had tried to “turn Ukraine’s people into cannon fodder”. The “mobilisation events” will begin on Wednesday, but the Russian president did not provide any more details about the timeline. 

“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said in the address.

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As part of the partial militarisation, there will be a boost in weapons production and as a result, the citizens and businesses in the country are expected to contribute more to the war financially. 

The crisis has officially entered its seventh month and in the last few weeks, the Russian position has faltered, allowing Ukraine to recapture considerable ground. This move is expected to be Russia’s push to reclaim lost territories and move towards an advantageous position against the Ukrainian forces. 

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The negotiations featured in Putin’s speech on Wednesday as he accused Kyiv of backing out. He said that the move was dictated by the western countries and Ukraine is currently increasing its military strength by including “neo-Nazi extremists” who are being trained by NATO. 

Meanwhile, the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are likely to organise votes this weekend on a referendum, expressing their desire to become official territories of Russia. 

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