March 30, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a partial mobilization of his country’s guards.
  • According to Russian officials, 300,000 reservists will be drafted immediately.
  • Putin said the move was aimed at “protecting the motherland” and protecting Russia’s sovereignty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for a “partial mobilization” of the country’s military reservists, a move that could escalate Moscow’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

A Television address On Wednesday morning, Putin said mobilization would begin immediately and that those called up would be given the same status as regulars in the armed forces.

Solidarity will see 300,000 saved drafts, The Washington Post Officials were quoted as saying. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, conscripts and students will not be called up and will only affect those with combat experience.

In his speech, Putin reiterated that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine was targeted Liberation of the Donbas region.

According to the BBCThe Russian leader accused the West of trying to blackmail Russia and promised to “use all our resources to protect our people.”

“The territorial integrity of our motherland, our freedom and independence will be protected, I repeat in all our ways,” Putin told the outlet.

“Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction,” he added, the BBC reported.

Pro-Russian separatist officials in four occupied regions of eastern and southern Ukraine announced Tuesday that they would hold referendums on joining Russia in the next few days. Ukrainian officials responded slammed Calling the referendum a “fraud”, he said nothing would change.

“Russia was an aggressor by illegally occupying parts of Ukraine’s territory,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. said In the answer.

Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said: “The Russianist reconstructionists in the occupied territories never tire of repeating the Nazi referendum on the Anschluss in Austria. They expect the result of 1938. Instead, they will get the result of Hitler’s 1945.”

Western officials expressed similar sentiments on Tuesday. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Referendums are a “further escalation in Putin’s war” and says they have no legitimacy. and Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters that the votes were meant to “distract from the dire situation the Russian military is currently in,” adding that the United States would not recognize the results of any vote.

The referendum comes weeks after Ukraine’s advances on the war’s eastern and southern fronts – including a punitive counteroffensive in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, which has seen the liberation of thousands of square miles of territory previously held by Russian troops.

In the face of major defeats on the battlefield, Putin’s military continues to face a severe personnel crisis. A senior US defense official said Monday that Russia is struggling to find volunteers to fight in Ukraine as significant casualties and poor battlefield performance have led to reluctance to go to war.

Even the infamous Wagner Group — private mercenaries with close ties to the Kremlin that have been fighting alongside Russian troops in Ukraine for months — are facing staffing problems of their own. The official said Wagner has tried to recruit prisoners of war in Ukraine in exchange for their freedom, but many are rejecting the offer.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense has highlighted these flaws in a recent report Intelligence AssessmentNote that Wagner’s problems and short training courses at Russian military academies indicate that “the impact of Russia’s manpower challenge has become increasingly serious.”

Some Russian observers have expressed concern that annexation of Ukrainian territories occupied by Moscow would be used by the Kremlin as a way to escalate the war and solve Russian military manpower problems.

Retired US Army Brigadier General Kevin Ryan, a former defense attache to Russia and senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, recently told Insider that if the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk ask for and are accepted by Russia, it would mean — in the Kremlin’s eyes — That “the fighting now going on in Ukraine will suddenly be ‘in Russia’.”

Ryan cautioned that this could have many immediate effects.

“For one, Putin can solve his military-manpower problem because now all recruits (35+% of the force) can be used — since it’s no longer a war abroad,” Ryan said.

“A second development would be that the red line against war on Russian territory would suddenly be crossed,” Ryan added. “NATO weapons will cause war and fire inside Russia. And most importantly, the Russian state will be under direct attack. And as we know, this is a trigger for the use of nuclear weapons.”

Western officials have consistently warned that the use of nuclear weapons by Russia cannot be ruled out, especially if Putin appears pushed into a corner. That said, some Russian experts are still skeptical that Moscow would use weapons of mass destruction given the potential consequences — including possible direct conflict with NATO. Several members of the 30-nation military alliance have nuclear powers.

“I don’t think Putin would use strategic nuclear weapons in this situation — even if he loses, even if he loses everything in Ukraine,” George Washington University international affairs professor Robert Ortung told Insider last week.

Ortung said that using such weapons would “take the war to the next level” and that the Russian president was “very afraid of what the reaction would be.”

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