Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced partial military mobilization as Russian forces counter Ukrainian counterattacks that have retaken some occupied territories.
Putin said in a televised speech that the partial mobilization of the 2 million-strong military reserve was to protect Russia and its territories, that the West wants to destroy Russia, and that it wants peace in Ukraine. I claimed no.
“In order to protect our country and its sovereignty, I consider it necessary to support the decision to partially mobilize the General Staff,” he said.
Putin said his aim was to “liberate” the industrial heartland of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, and that most people in the region would not want to return to what he called the Ukrainian “yoke”. said repeatedly.
Putin said the West had made nuclear blackmail but that Russia had “a lot of weapons to fight back” and was not bluffing.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that President Putin’s order on partial mobilization will bring an additional 300,000 personnel to participate in Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
In an update on Moscow’s casualties for the first time in almost half a year, Shoigu said 5,397 Russian soldiers had died since the conflict began.
Shoigu dismissed claims by Kyiv and the West that Russia had suffered heavy losses in seven months of military operations, saying 90% of the wounded Russian soldiers had returned to the front lines.
It was the first time Russia has released an official death toll since 1,351 military personnel died on March 25.
The US Department of Defense said in August that it believed between 70,000 and 80,000 Russian personnel had been killed or wounded, and in July estimated the Russian death toll at about 15,000.
Shoigu said Russia has 25 million potential fighters at its disposal.
According to a decree published on the Kremlin website, the call-up applies only to reservists with previous military experience.
Shoigu said this meant about 300,000 men. He said they received additional training before being sent to Ukraine and did not include those who served only as students or conscripts.
Shoigu said the mobilization would help Russia “consolidate” the territory behind Ukraine’s 1,000km front line.
Russia already considers Luhansk and Donetsk, which make up the Donbas region partially occupied by Moscow in 2014, independent states. Ukraine and the West believe that all of Ukraine, held by Russian forces, is illegally occupied.
The Russians now hold about 60% of Donetsk, and by July they had taken almost all of Luhansk after slowly advancing in months of heavy fighting.
Those gains are now under threat as Russian forces were forced out of neighboring Kharkiv province this month and lost control of the main supply lines to much of the Donetsk and Luhansk fronts.
In an apparently coordinated move, pro-Russian figures announced on Tuesday that referendums will be held from September 23-27 in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces.
European leaders condemn the move
European leaders reacted to Putin’s announcement. Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the partial mobilization was “an attempt to further escalate the war Russia has started against Ukraine” and “further proof that Russia is the sole aggressor”. Stated.
Fiala said it was essential to continue aid to Ukraine and that it was in the Czech national interest to do so.
The Czech Republic supplies the Ukrainian Armed Forces with heavy weapons such as armored vehicles, helicopters and artillery systems. It was the first country to send tanks to Ukraine.
German Deputy Chancellor Robert Habeck described the mobilization as “another bad and wrong step from Russia”.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the mobilization and referendum plans “signs of panic”.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Putin’s decision showed his aggression had failed.
“He and his Defense Minister killed tens of thousands of their own people and were ill-equipped and poorly trained,” he wrote on Twitter.
“No amount of intimidation or propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine has won this war, the international community is united, and Russia is becoming a pariah of the world.”
Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Ukraine said the announcement was a bearish sign.
Brigitte Brink tweeted: “Fake referendums and mobilizations are signs of weakness and failure of Russia.
“The United States will never recognize Russia’s claims to allegedly annexed Ukrainian territories and will continue to support Ukraine as long as necessary,” she added.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/475234/putin-mobilises-more-troops-for-ukraine-says-west-wants-to-destroy-russia Putin Mobilizes More Troops for Ukraine, Says West Wants to Destroy Russia