Putin mobilizes more troops for Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced partial mobilization in Russia as the war in Ukraine dragged on for nearly seven months and Moscow lost ground on the battlefield.

Putin’s speech to the nation came a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold a vote on becoming an integral part of Russia. . Kremlin-backed efforts to devour the four regions could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war after Ukraine’s successes.

Putin also warned the West that it was “not a hoax” that Russia would use all means at its disposal to defend its territory.

Putin said he signed a decree on partial mobilization, which is expected to begin on Wednesday.

“We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve forces will have to join the army, and above all, those who have served in the armed forces have certain military expertise and related experience,” Putin said.

The referendums, scheduled to take place since the first months of the war, will begin on Friday in Luhansk, Kherson and parts of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.

A man rides a motorbike past damaged houses in Siversk, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. On Tuesday, Donetsk and three other Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold referendums on Russia’s participation in the coming days. (Photo by Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty)

Putin said the decision to deploy in part was “fully in line with the threats we face, that is, to defend our homeland, sovereignty and territorial integrity, ensure the security of our people.” our people and people in the liberated territories.”

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday dismissed the plan to hold a referendum in the occupied regions of eastern and southern Ukraine as a “noise” and thanked Ukraine’s allies. condemned the vote scheduled to begin on Friday.

Ukraine-controlled regions announce referendum

Four Russian-controlled regions on Tuesday announced plans to start voting this week to become integral parts of Russia, which could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war after the war. Ukraine’s success on the battlefield.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council chaired by Putin, said referendums bringing regions into Russia itself would make redrawn borders “irreversible”. and allows Moscow to use “any means” to protect them.

In his nightly address, Zelenskyy said there were many questions surrounding the announcements but stressed that they would not change Ukraine’s commitment to recapturing areas occupied by Russian forces.

“The situation on the front lines clearly shows that the initiative belongs to Ukraine,” he said. “Our locations don’t change because of noise or any announcement somewhere. And we enjoy the full support of our partners in this.”

The upcoming elections, in the Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions are certainly in Moscow’s direction. But they are quickly dismissed as illegitimate by Western leaders, who are backing Kyiv with military and other support that has helped their forces gain momentum on the battlefields of the east. and male.

“I thank all of Ukraine’s friends and partners for the mass principled company’s condemnation of Russia’s attempt to introduce a new fake referendum,” Zelenskyy said.

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