Vladimir Putin televised address: Russian President announces mobilization of Russian army reserves while escalating war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced partial mobilization in Russia as the war in Ukraine approaches the seven-month mark.

r Putin also warned the West that Russia will use any means at its disposal to protect its territory, saying “I’m not bluffing.”

He accused the West of “nuclear blackmail” and noted “statements by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia”.

And he added: “To those who dare to make such statements about Russia, I would like to remind that our country also has various means of destruction, and for separate components and more modern than those of the NATO countries, and if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people.”

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu later said 300,000 reservists would be mobilized.

Putin’s address to the nation comes a day after the Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold votes on becoming an integral part of Russia.

The Kremlin-backed effort to engulf four regions could pave the way for Moscow to escalate the war following recent Ukrainian battlefield successes.

Referendums begin on Friday in the Luhansk and Kherson regions and the partially Russian-controlled Zaporizhia and Donetsk regions.

Mr Putin said he had signed a decree on partial mobilization to start on Wednesday.

He said: “We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens who are currently in reserve are conscripted, and especially those who have served in the armed forces have some military specialty and relevant experience.”

The Russian leader said the partial mobilization decision was “fully proportionate to the threats we face, namely to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and the people of the liberated areas.” .

Earlier Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed Russian plans to stage the referendums as “noise” and thanked Ukraine’s allies for condemning the polls that begin on Friday.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council chaired by Mr Putin, said referendums incorporating regions within Russia itself would make newly drawn borders “irreversible” and allow Moscow to use “any means” to secure them To defend.

In his late-night address, Mr Zelensky said there were many questions about the announcements, but stressed they would not change Ukraine’s commitment to retake areas occupied by Russian forces.

“The situation on the front clearly shows that the initiative belongs to Ukraine,” he said.

“Our positions don’t change because of the noise or any announcements anywhere. And we enjoy the full support of our partners.”

The upcoming votes will almost certainly go to Moscow. But they were quickly dismissed as illegitimate by Western leaders, who have backed Kyiv with military and other support that has helped its forces gain momentum on the battlefields to the east and south.

“I thank all friends and partners of Ukraine for today’s principled condemnation of Russia’s attempts to hold new sham referendums,” said Zelenskyy.

In another signal that Russia is embarking on a protracted and potentially intensified conflict, the Kremlin-controlled lower house of parliament on Tuesday voted to tighten laws against desertion, surrender and looting by Russian troops. Lawmakers also voted to introduce possible 10-year prison sentences for soldiers who refuse to fight.

If the law were approved by the House of Lords as expected and then signed by Mr Putin, the law would strengthen commanders’ hands against the reported declining morale among soldiers.

In the Russian-held city of Enerhodar, shelling continued around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

Ukrainian energy operator Energoatom said Russian shelling again damaged infrastructure at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, briefly forcing workers to start two diesel generators to provide backup power for cooling pumps for one of the reactors.

Such pumps are essential to avoid a meltdown at a nuclear power plant, even though all six of the plant’s reactors have been shut down.

Energoatom said the generators were later shut down when main power was restored.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been a concern for months amid fears shelling could lead to a radiation leak.

Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the shelling.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/vladimir-putin-calls-up-300000-russian-army-reserves-as-he-steps-up-ukraine-war-and-warns-west-over-nuclear-blackmail-42005595.html Vladimir Putin televised address: Russian President announces mobilization of Russian army reserves while escalating war in Ukraine

Fry Electronics Team

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