Putin announces partial mobilization in Russia and signs decree

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the West “wants to destroy our country”.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (Russian Presidential News Service via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday a partial mobilization in Russia as the war in Ukraine has now lasted nearly seven months.

A day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine said they were preparing to hold elections to join Russia, Putin delivered his address to the nation.

The referendums, expected since the start of the war, will begin on Friday in the regions of Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk, partially under Russian control.

Putin said he signed a decree on partial mobilization, which is due to start on Wednesday.

“We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who have served in the armed forces have a certain military specialty and relevant experience “, Putin underlined.

What does that mean?

Putin reiterated earlier claims that Western countries were responsible for starting a proxy war with Russia in his televised speech, saying the West “wants to destroy our country” and was trying to “convert the Ukrainian people into fodder military”.

He said “mobilization events” would begin on Wednesday without providing further details other than to say he had ordered increased funding to boost Russia’s arms production.

Partial mobilization puts Russia on a more solid war footing. However, partial mobilization may force Russian businesses and citizens to contribute more to the war effort.

EU threatens Russia with new sanctions

The European Union is threatening Russia with new sanctions in the event of referendums in the LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on Tuesday. communicated.

“Russia, its political leaders and all those involved in these ‘referendums’ and other violations of international law in Ukraine will be held accountable, and further restrictive measures against Russia will be considered,” the statement said.

It comes after White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States had condemned the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson referendums to join Russia as “fictitious” actions and asserted that the United States would not recognize the results.

“These referendums are an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underpin the international system,” Sullivan said, adding that “if this happens, the United States will never recognize Russia’s claims to allegedly annexed parts of Ukraine”.

Call for a referendum

The votes, favorable to joining Russia and scheduled for this weekend in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye, would allow the Kremlin to affirm, albeit wrongly, that it was “defending” its territory and its population .

Social movement

Social Movement chairman Vladimir Rogov called on the head of the Zaporozhye region Yevhen Balytskyi to quickly hold the referendum on joining Russia.

At a congress of citizens of the Zaporozhye region, Rogov said: “Let’s not just make a decision together on Tuesday, but demand that the decision taken earlier be finally implemented.”

Civic Chamber of the Kherson region

The Civic Chamber of the Kherson region on Tuesday called on regional leader Volodymyr Saldo to quickly hold a referendum on joining Russia, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Public Chamber of the Lugansk People’s Republic

The Public Chamber of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has called on the head of the republic, Leonid Pesechnik, to hold a referendum on the republic’s immediate membership in Russia, according to the Russian News Agency. CASS reported Monday, citing a statement from the body.

“The Public Chamber of the Lugansk People’s Republic has taken the initiative to immediately hold a referendum on the accession of the Lugansk People’s Republic to Russia,” the statement said.

The republic’s joining Russia will ensure its security and open up new possibilities for post-war revival, the LPR Public Chamber said.

Civic Chamber of the Donetsk People’s Republic

Similarly, the Civic Chamber of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) appealed to DPR leader Denis Pushilin to immediately hold a referendum on the republic’s joining Russia, said House Speaker Alexander Kofman on Monday.

“It is time to erase the non-existing border between our states and to hold a referendum on the question of joining the Donetsk People’s Republic to the Russian Federation. We want the border of the Russian Federation to be between us and Ukraine,” Kofman said in the call.

“In connection with all the above, I call on the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, and the People’s Council of the DPR to take an appropriate decision on the immediate holding of a referendum,” the official added.

Plans to join Russia

It should be noted that since the beginning of the war, the Russian army took control of the Azov part of Zaparozhye and Kherson, liberating large cities such as Kherson, Melitopol and Berdyansk, as well as cutting off kyiv from the sea of ‘Azov.

Kherson and Zaparozhye had new administrations formed in them, with Russian TV channels and radio stations broadcasting there and trade and transport links with Crimea being restored. Both regions have announced their intention to become part of Russia.

Ukraine’s Kherson region is set to hold a referendum to become a full entity of the Russian Federation, according to deputy head of the region’s military-civilian administration Kirill Stremousov in July.

“The Kherson region will already forget about neo-Nazism in the near future. We are preparing for the referendum, we will hold it. I hope that in the near future we will already become a full-fledged territorial entity of the Russian Federation.” , Kirill Stremousov said in a video posted on his Telegram channel.

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