the president of RussiaVladimir Putin announced on Wednesday a “partial mobilization” of Russian reservists, he said, to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, as well as to guarantee the security of the citizens of the occupied territories in Ukraine. In a recorded speech broadcast on television, the Russian leader warned the West that Moscow is ready to use “all means” to defend itself.
“This is not a bluff,” he stressed. Putin with a serious countenance, accusing Western countries of wanting to “destroy” Russia and of having resorted to “nuclear blackmail” against his country, implying that his forces would be willing to use the nuclear weapon.
In the face of lightning counter-offensives by the Ukrainian forces, which pushed back the Russian army, Putin opted for an escalation in the conflict, with a measure that opens the way to send more Russian soldiers to Ukraine. After the organization of annexation “referendums” in four regions of eastern and southern Ukraine from Friday was announced on Tuesday, the Russian president’s announcements mark a turning point in the conflict, which began on February 24 .
“I consider it necessary to support the proposal (from the Ministry of Defense) for the partial mobilization of citizens in the reserve, those who have already served (…) and who have relevant experience,” he declared. Putin in your message.
“We are only talking about a partial mobilization,” insisted the Russian president. In recent days, rumors of a general mobilization had caused concern among many Russians.
These are the main aspects of the measure decreed today by the head of the Kremlin:
– The Russian army It has more than two million men, half of whom are technicians and administrative staff.
– During the partial mobilization, 300,000 reservists will be called up.
– The Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigú, estimated at 25 million Russians with military experience who can be mobilized. Partial mobilization will affect 1% of the total. Among those mobilized there will be specialists who work in state-owned companies.
– Russia rules out that students over 18 years of age can be mobilized, referring to university students and those who are studying professional training.
– Reservists could be legally deployed in Donbas and the occupied territories in southern Ukraine if the Kremlin agrees to their entry into Russia after the integration referendums that these territories will hold starting on Friday.
– The Duma or Lower House approved on Tuesday amendments to the penal code that toughen up to 10 years prison sentences for soldiers for surrender and desertion without justification in case of mobilization or martial law.
– Failure to comply with direct orders from a superior to participate in military or combat actions can also be punished with up to ten years in prison.
– Mobilized men could leave the service only for health reasons, if they reach the maximum age to serve in the army or if a civil court orders their imprisonment.
– According to some local media, a majority of Russians are opposed to the Kremlin declaring general mobilization, although, according to official polls, two thirds of the inhabitants of this country support the military campaign.
– Shoigu recognized today the death of almost 6,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine since the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine began in February. Russia.
– The peace movement Vesná (Spring) called a national protest against the mobilization to prevent fathers, brothers and husbands from being sent to the “meat grinder of war”.
– The russian president Last March, it prohibited the sending to the front of young Russians who were doing compulsory military service.
– According to human rights organizations, the Army has deployed in recent weeks thousands of recruits in military units near the border with Ukraine. (With information from EFE and AFP)