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Putin address today: Partial Russian mobilization called up; Russia president says he won’t ‘bluff’ on nukes!



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Kyiv, Ukraine – President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of Russia’s reservists on Wednesday, risking a hugely unpopular move after a series of humiliating setbacks for his forces nearly seven months after the invasion of Ukraine.

It is Russia’s first mobilization since World War II and is sure to inflame tensions with Ukraine’s Western backers, who have derided the move as an act of weakness. The move also prompted the Russians to scramble to buy plane tickets outside the country.

The Russian leader, in a seven-minute televised address to the nation broadcast on Wednesday morning, also warned the West that it was not deceiving in using all the means at its disposal to protect Russian territory, in what appeared to be a veiled signal. Russia’s nuclear capacity. Putin has previously warned the West against backing Russia against the wall and berated NATO countries for supplying weapons to help Ukraine.

Officials said the total number of reservists to be called up could reach 300,000.

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Even partial mobilization is likely to increase panic or raise suspicion among Russians about the war in Ukraine. Shortly after Putin’s speech, Russian media reported a sharp rise in demand for airline tickets abroad amid an apparent scramble to leave despite exorbitant prices for flights.

Asked what has changed since he and others previously said no mobilization was planned, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is actively fighting against a joint potential of NATO because NATO members supply Kyiv with weapons.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said only those with relevant combat and service experience would be mobilized. He added that there are about 25 million people who meet these criteria, but only about 1% of them will be mobilized.

There is another provision in the decree that prevents most professional soldiers from terminating their contracts and leaving service until the end of the partial mobilization.

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Putin’s announcement came against the backdrop of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 was the target of widespread international criticism that continued to put intense diplomatic pressure on Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to address the crowd in a pre-recorded speech on Wednesday. Putin did not travel to New York.

Putin’s gambit has a strong element of risk—it could backfire, by making Ukraine’s war unpopular at home and damaging its standing, and exposing Russia’s underlying military shortcomings.

Ukraine’s counterattack this month took the military initiative away from Russia, as well as capturing large areas that the Russians once controlled. The speed of the counterattack saw Russian forces abandon armored vehicles and other weapons while defeating the hasty retreats.

A spokesman for Zelensky called the mobilization a “great tragedy” for the Russian people.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Sergei Nikiforov said recruits sent to the front lines in Ukraine would face a similar fate to the unqualified Russian forces who were repulsed in an attack on Kyiv in the early days of the invasion last February.

“This is an admission of the impotence of the professional Russian army, which has failed in all its tasks,” said Nikiforov.

Mobilization is unlikely to have any consequences on the battlefield for several months due to the lack of training facilities and equipment.

The US ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, tweeted that the mobilization is a sign of “Russian weakness and failure.”

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace echoed that assessment, calling Putin’s move “an admission of the failure of his invasion”.

Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin said Putin’s announcement was described as “an act of desperation”. He predicted that the Russians would resist the mobilization through “passive sabotage.”

“People will evade this mobilization in every possible way, spray their way out of this mobilization, and leave the country,” Oreshkin told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.

Oreshkin said that the advertisement would not be well received by the general public, calling it “a great personal blow to Russian citizens, who (participated in hostilities) with pleasure until recently, sitting on their sofas, (watching) TV . . and now the war in their homeland.”

The head of the Duma Defense Committee, Andrei Kartapolov, said that there would be no additional restrictions on reservists leaving Russia on the basis of this mobilization, according to Russian media reports. Kartapolov said he wanted to “calm down” people about the mobilization.

The partial mobilization order came a day after Russia-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold a vote on becoming an integral part of Russia — a move that could pave the way for Moscow to escalate the war after Ukrainian successes.

Referendums, which had been expected since the first months of the war, will begin on Friday in the partially Russian-controlled regions of Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhia and Donetsk.

The ballot papers will surely go the Moscow route.

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The war, which has claimed thousands of lives, has caused food prices to rise around the world and caused energy costs to rise. It has also raised fears of a possible nuclear disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear plant in the now-occupied southeast of Ukraine. Investigations are also underway into possible atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

In his speech, which was much shorter than previous speeches on the Ukraine war, Putin accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail” and referred to “statements of some senior representatives of NATO countries about the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia”.

He did not specify who made these comments.

“To those who allow themselves such statements about Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for separate and more modern components than those of the NATO countries and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal. “.

“This is not a hoax,” he added.

Foreign leaders described the ballot papers as illegal and non-binding. Zelensky said it was a “trick” and “noise” to distract the audience.

Putin said he had already signed the partial mobilization decree due to start on Wednesday. Large-scale mobilization is likely to be unpopular in Russia and could weaken Putin’s standing after the recent military setbacks in Ukraine.

“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 served in the armed forces have a certain military specialization and relevant experience,” Putin said.

Russia’s Defense Minister, Shoigu, also said that 5,937 Russian soldiers have been killed in the conflict in Ukraine, a number far below Western estimates that Russia has lost tens of thousands.

The opposition Vezna movement called for nationwide protests on Wednesday, saying, “Thousands of Russian men – our fathers, our brothers, our husbands – will be thrown into a meat grinder in a war. What will they die for? And what will mothers and children die for? Crying for?”

It was not clear how many would dare protest amid Russia’s sweeping crackdown on dissent and harsh laws against vilification of soldiers and the military operation.

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