Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, declared a partial mobilisation in his country as the conflict in Ukraine has now lasted for almost seven months and Moscow is losing momentum there. Putin also cautioned the West, saying “it’s not a bluff” that Russia will employ all available methods to defend its borders.
According to officials, 3,00,000 reserve members will be called up in all.
A day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine declared preparations to hold elections on joining Russia, the Russian president gave a televised speech to the nation on Wednesday.
The UN General Assembly in New York, where Moscow was warned about its referendum intentions, is also a backdrop to Putin’s speech. The Kremlin-backed initiatives to engulf four districts may pave the way for Moscow to intensify the conflict after Ukraine achieves its goals.
The referendums, which have been planned since the beginning of the conflict, will begin on Friday in the Ukrainian areas of Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk, which are largely under Russian control.
Announcing “statements of some high-ranking members of the key Nato states concerning the possibility of unleashing nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia,” Putin accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail.”
"When the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will undoubtedly use all available means to protect Russia and our people. To those who allow themselves to make such statements regarding Russia, I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for separate components and more modern than those of Nato countries," Putin said.
He added,“It’s not a bluff.”
Putin claimed to have approved the partial mobilization’s edict, which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
According to Putin, "We are talking about partial mobilisation, which means that only individuals who are now enrolled in the reserve would be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a specified military specialisation and necessary expertise."
Only individuals with relevant combat and service experience will be mobilised, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised interview on Wednesday. Shoigu added that 5,937 Russian servicemen had perished in the Ukraine conflict, much fewer than the tens of thousands of soldiers that the West had estimated Russia had killed.
The decision to only partially mobilise, according to Putin, was “absolutely sufficient to the challenges we confront, specifically to safeguard our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to assure the security of our people and people in the freed territories.”
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, called the referendum plans “noise” earlier on Wednesday and thanked his country’s partners for opposing the voting, which are set to begin on Friday.
Zelenskyy stated in his evening address that there are many unanswered concerns regarding the announcements but emphasised that this will not alter Ukraine’s determination to reclaim territory held by Russian soldiers.
According to the situation on the front lines, Ukraine should take the initiative, he said. "Our stances don't alter as a result of announcements or commotion from elsewhere. Additionally, we have our partners' full backing in this.
In light of Russia’s general repression of opposition and strict regulations prohibiting criticising soldiers and the military operation, it was unknown how many people would dare to demonstrate.
The results of the upcoming referendum will almost certainly favour Moscow. Western leaders, who are supporting Kyiv with military and other assistance that has helped its forces gain momentum on battlefields in the east and south, swiftly denounced them as illegitimate.
According to Zelenskyy, "I applaud all allies and partners of Ukraine for today's widespread principled forceful condemnation of Russia's plans to arrange additional fake referenda."
The lower house of parliament, which is under the control of the Kremlin, voted on Tuesday to toughen the laws on Russian troops deserting, surrendering, and looting, sending another message that the country is preparing for a protracted and possibly escalated conflict. Additionally, lawmakers approved the introduction of potential 10-year prison terms for soldiers who refuse to battle.
The proposal would give commanders more power to combat reports of low soldier morale if the upper chamber approves it as expected and Putin signs it into law.
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The largest nuclear power station in Europe continued to be shelled near the city of Enerhodar, which is under Russian control. Russian shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station once more caused infrastructure damage, according to Ukrainian energy operator Energoatom, and briefly required employees to start up two diesel generators to provide backup power to one of the reactor’s cooling pumps.
Even though the plant’s six reactors have all been shut down, such pumps are crucial for preventing a meltdown. The generators were reportedly turned off later as main power was restored, according to Energoatom.
Months of worry have been directed toward the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant because to worries that shelling could produce a radioactive release. The shelling is being blamed on by both Russia and Ukraine.
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