Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilisation” on Wednesday, a move that will see 300,000 Russian citizens in the military reserves called up to serve in Ukraine.
The development marked a significant escalation of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and came just a day after a series of co-ordinated moves towards annexation referendums in Russia-occupied Ukrainian areas.
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Putin spoke in Russian in the televised address. The quotes below have been translated into English.
“In such a situation, I consider it necessary to make the following decision, which is fully appropriate to threats we face. Namely, in order to protect our motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to ensure the safety of our people and people in the liberated territories, I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the defence ministry and the General Staff to conduct a partial mobilisation in the Russian Federation.”
“We are talking about partial mobilisation. That is, only citizens who are currently in the reserves and, above all, those who have served in the armed forces, have military skills and relevant experience. Only they will be subject to conscription.”
Fighting the West
“Today our armed forces are operating across a front line that exceeds 1,000 km, opposing not only neo-Nazi formations but the entire military machine of the collective West.”
“NATO is conducting reconnaissance across the south of Russia. Washington, London and Brussels are directly pushing Kyiv to move military action to our country. They are openly saying that Russia should be defeated on the battlefield by any means.”
“Nuclear blackmail has also been used. We are talking not only about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – encouraged by the West – which threatens to cause a nuclear catastrophe but also about statements from senior representatives of NATO countries about the possibility and permissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia: nuclear weapons.
“I would like to remind those who make such statements about Russia that our country also possesses various means of destruction, and in some cases, they are more modern than those of NATO countries. When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we, of course, will use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people.
“This is not a bluff. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them.”
“Citizens of Russia can be convinced that our territorial independence and freedom will be provided, and I emphasise this one more time, with all means that we have at our disposal.”
“Parliaments in the People’s Republics of the Donbas as well as the civil-military administrations in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions have decided to hold referendums on the future of the territories and have appealed to Russia to support such a step. We will do everything to ensure safe conditions to hold the referendums so that people can express their will.
“We will support the decision on their future, which will be made by the majority of residents in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.”
West trying to ‘destroy’ Russia
“In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line. We constantly hear threats against our country and our people.”
“The purpose of this West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country. They are already saying that in 1991 they were able to break up the Soviet Union, and now the time has come for Russia itself that it should disintegrate. And they have been planning it for a long time.”
“The West is not interested in a peaceful solution and making compromises; they just want to break all negotiations.”