In a rare address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced partial military mobilization in the country as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine continues.
What Happened: Putin said the decision was taken “to defend the motherland, its sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” as he accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail,” according to the Associated Press. The decree, which is due to start on Wednesday, puts Russia and its economy on a wartime footing as the war in Ukraine reaches nearly seven months.
“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 specialty and relevant experience,” Putin reportedly said.
Putin, who warned the West that “it’s not a bluff,” said his country would use all the means at its disposal to protect its territory. The leader also announced that he had ordered an increase in funding to boost Russia’s weapons production.
“To those who allow themselves 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, 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,” he said.
The comments from Putin came a day after Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine announced plans to hold referendums on becoming integral parts of Putin’s country. The referendums will start on Friday in the Luhansk, Kherson, and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.