”Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his televised speech today, adding among other things that the West is trying to undermine and obliterate Russia.
During his highly-anticipated address, Putin also announced a “partial mobilisation” in Russia and signed a decree that would extend the contracts of soldiers already fighting in Ukraine until the partial mobilisation period ends.
🇷🇺 Russia will enforce a partial mobilisation of its citizens to further support the war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has said.
The mobilisation, effective immediately, will affect army reserves and those who had previously served in Russia's armed forces. pic.twitter.com/OOa7Bqkqv1
— euronews (@euronews) September 21, 2022
“Military service will apply only to citizens who are currently in the reserve, especially those who have served in the armed forces, have certain military professions and relevant experience,” the Russian president said.
Shortly after his appearance, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed that 300,000 Russian citizens “with previous military experience” will now be called up to fight in Ukraine.
“These are not people who’ve never seen or heard anything about the army,” Shoigu said.
The announcement comes after the Ukrainian military wreaked havoc on Russia’s occupation apparatus in recent counter-offences by detonating munitions stores, command centres, and facilities behind enemy lines using high-tech western weaponry.
Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas have meanwhile been trying to move faster to hold referendums on joining Russia.
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These referendums have not been recognised by any countries outside of Russia.
The US, Germany and France have put out statements saying they would never accept the results of such “fake” elections.
What is meant by “partial mobilisation”?
Mobilisation means assembling and preparing troops for active service. Russia is estimated to have around two million reservists.
According to Sergey Shoigu, the “partial mobilisation” of over 300,000 people with military experience represents about 1% of the country’s total mobilisation force.
But even if individuals called up have prior military experience, it takes months to mobilise, equip, and organise them into modern fighting units.
Luke Harding, The Guardian’s foreign correspondent, says a partial mobilisation might be “deeply unpopular” and can’t resolve the lack of Russian soldiers on the battlefield (Shoigu today stated that 5,937 Russian troops had been killed in battle, which is far lower than the Western intelligence estimates).
These are the indicative estimates of Russia’s combat losses as of Sept. 13, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/jrAZN8L2ao
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) September 13, 2022
EU countries bordering Russia react to mobilisation
Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics says the country will not offer refuge by “[issuing] humanitarian or other types of visas” to any Russians fleeing Moscow’s mobilisation of troops.
Lithuania’s Defence Minister also tweeted to say the country’s main force to deter against any security threat has been put on high alert.
As Russia's military mobilisation will also take place near our borders, (Kaliningrad region), Lithuania's Rapid Reaction Force is being put on high alert to prevent any provocation from Russia.
— Arvydas Anušauskas (@a_anusauskas) September 21, 2022
As the mobilisation is announced, the Russian stock market takes a downturn.
The Russian stock market had a dramatic decline, and indications suggest that more people are purchasing airline tickets to escape the nation.
The Moscow Exchange (MOEX) index fell by as much as 10%, marking the second straight day of significant losses.
Gas markets were also rocked by the rise, with the benchmark price in Europe rising by 8% to around €210 per megawatt hour.
Over the last year, the MOEX has substantially declined from over 4,000 points to just over 2,000 points, reflecting a significant decline in the value of the Russian stock market.
Shoigu stresses that “under no circumstances“ will students or conscripts be asked to serve.
The Russian people are still quite concerned about this mobilisation, however.
Many Russians, especially young professionals who haven’t already left will be considering fleeing the country as quickly as possible in light of the shocking announcement that mobilisation will start immediately – today.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Vladimir Putin announces partial mobilisation in Russia. Featured Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.