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Faced with reversals in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin calls up reserve forces among citizens

After several setbacks, Russia escalates its conflict with Ukraine; the Russian president says a partial military mobilisation was ‘sensible and necessary under the circumstances’.

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New Delhi: Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced immediate partial mobilisation of citizens, which would mean drawing military reservists into active service.

A reservist is a member of a military reserve force, otherwise civilians who have careers outside the military during peacetime.

Faced with a protracted conflict in Ukraine, Putin said Wednesday that a “partial military mobilisation in Russia is sensible and necessary under the circumstances”. He has already signed an order for the call-up to start on Wednesday.

In a televised address to the nation, the president added the armed forces would draw on military reservists only, “and provide them with additional training along with all the benefits due to people in active military service”.

The president further told the nation: “In order to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and people in the liberated territories, I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff to conduct partial mobilization in the Russian Federation.”

Putin accused Ukraine of reneging on peace talks, on the bidding of its western allies. Instead of coming to the negotiating table, Ukraine had strengthened its military with NATO-trained troops, many of whom are neo-Nazi extremists, he added.

He said the goal of the west was “to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country”. “They are already saying directly that they were able to split the Soviet Union in 1991 and now the time has come for Russia to break up into a multitude of regions and areas which are fatally hostile to each other,” the president said.

Also read: Russia lures foreigners with citizenship if they fight in Ukraine, hires mercenaries, convicts


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