Russian President Vladimir Putin made a stunning public announcement on Wednesday morning, declaring that Russia would take the unprecedented step of enacting a partial mobilization, which would quickly add 300,000 troops to the Russian military.
The Russian military experienced a major setback in the Kharkov region last week after a surprise Ukrainian counteroffensive forced Russian forces to retreat from a significant chunk of territory in the country’s northeast.
Putin claimed that Russia is battling NATO and all of its strength. He said that the US and its allies are attempting to “destroy” Russia. According to Putin, the partial mobilization implies that reservists will be recruited into military duty beginning immediately in order to bloster Russian troops already fighting on the front lines.. The Armed Forces will allegedly only rely on military reservists and those who have done national service, according to the Putin, who promises that they will receive additional training as well as all of the advantages that persons engaging in active duty receive, including increased pay.
In his remarks, Putin accused Kiev of abandoning peace negotiations on the instructions of its Western allies. Instead of talking, he added, the Ukrainian government has bolstered its military with NATO-trained troops, many of whom he alleges are neo-Nazi radicals.
Putin also accused the West of using “nuclear blackmail” against Russia, saying that if Russia’s territorial integrity is challenged, Russia would undoubtedly use all means at its disposal to preserve Russian territory, including nuclear ones, and that this wasn’t ‘a bluff.’
Russian forces dispatched to Ukraine in February seized a substantial section of land claimed by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as other areas of Ukraine, and the resulting frontline spans over 1,000 kilometers.
Putin also addressed the impending referendums in the two Donbass republics and the other two parts of Ukraine now under Russian control in the south and east of the country. The regions, which comprise the provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, have declared plebiscites on whether to join Russia, with voting set to begin on Friday. Putin stated that his government would respect the results of the four referendums and ensure the voting process is secure. If and when the provinces vote to join Russia Putin stated that their borders would then immediately be treated as a part of Russian home territory.