Russian President Vladimir Putin took a step closer to a major military conflict on Wednesday after calling on the Russian nation for a partial military mobilisation of the population to "defend Russia". The announcement comes on the heels of the announcement of referendums on the annexation to Russia of the regions of Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporiyia and Kherson, which are partially controlled by pro-Russian forces.
Vladimir Putin launched this message in response to the threat to Russia's territorial integrity, according to the arguments put forward by the Russian leader, blaming the West for taking Russia to war and even threatening Russia's nuclear potential.
Within this partial mobilisation of Russia's citizenship, "citizens who are currently in the reserves and first of all those who were in the army and have military experience will be recruited," the Russian president said in his speech on Wednesday, quoted by the official Russian news agency TASS and quoted by the Mash Telegram channel.
⚡️Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in a televised address to the nation, pointing to the threats to the country’s existence posed by the West and the inevitable nature of the special military operation in Ukraine:https://t.co/Vp4LTW0iW1 pic.twitter.com/gUALjae88X— TASS (@tassagency_en) September 21, 2022
All those recruited will have "additional training that takes into account experience in military conflicts", the Russian leader said. They include up to 300,000 reservists who may be called into action as part of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Russian leader gave orders to "provide all necessary support to citizens who will have the status and all the social guarantees of military personnel".
"I have already signed the decree on partial mobilisation, and we will inform the Federal Chambers in writing, and today the procedures for mobilisation will begin," Putin himself said.
Vladimir Putin also called on defence and military companies to get involved in the announced partial mobilisation: "The decree on partial mobilisation also provides for additional measures for military supplies, defence industry companies will have to increase their arms production". "All the supply issues of these companies will have to be solved by the government," he stressed.
Vladimir Putin has justified this decision by stating that the West "pushed Russia into war". This is the first time that the Russian president has used the term 'war' as such. "In its aggressive policy against Russia, the West crossed all lines. We constantly hear threats to Russia, to our people. They talk about plans to supply Ukraine with long-range weapons and attack Crimea and other regions of Russia. Terrorist attacks with the use of Western weaponry against Russian territories," Putin argued.
"NATO is carrying out intelligence work throughout southern Ukraine," Putin said, arguing that the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union "are pushing Kiev to bring the war into Russian territory and believe that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield and lose all its sovereignty with the consequent plundering of Russian territory", the Russian leader said.
The Russian president also warned about the nuclear threat, mentioning the attacks on the Zaporiyya nuclear power plant and the nuclear disaster that could result.
Putin said that those who allow themselves to threaten Russia with nuclear weapons should know that "Russia has more advanced nuclear weapons than NATO". "To defend our people and peace in our country, we will use all the means at our disposal," Putin said.
Putin's warning is very serious: "I am not speculating. The citizens of Russia can rest assured that our freedom and independence will be preserved and for this we will use all the means at our disposal."
"The destiny of our people has always been to fight against those who seek world domination and tear our homeland apart, and now we will do the same. I rely on your support," Vladimir Putin himself concluded.