As Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, Moscow’s president, Vladimir Putin has placed the country under partial military mobilization.
According to Reuters, the Moscow’s president who made the announcement on Wednesday said the people and country’s economy has been placed on wartime footing.
Blaming Western nations for starting a proxy war with Russia which led to the partial military mobilization, Putin in a pre-recorded announcement told Russians that the West “wants to destroy our country”.
He added that the West had “turn Ukraine’s people into cannon fodder,” as Ukraine seems to be on the advantage in the seven month long war.
Putin’s comments come as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in late February, approaches the winter period with momentum appearing to be on Ukraine’s side after it launched lightning counteroffensives in the northeast and south to reclaim lost territory.
Speculation mounted Tuesday that Putin could be about to announce a full or partial mobilization of the Russian economy and society, putting them both on a war footing and paving the way for possible conscription of Russian men of fighting age, after Moscow-installed officials in occupied areas of Ukraine announced plans to stage immediate referenda on joining Russia.
The votes — set to take place in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia this weekend and with the results widely expected to be rigged in favor of joining Russia — would enable the Kremlin to claim, albeit falsely, that it was “defending” its own territory and citizens.
Plans to hold such votes were widely condemned by Ukraine and its Western allies who said they would not recognize the ballots and efforts to annex more of Ukraine, as Russia did with Crimea in 2014.
Putin on Wednesday repeated earlier claims from Moscow that Russia’s aim is to “liberate” the Donbas, a region in eastern Ukraine in which there are two self-proclaimed, pro-Russian republics, and said he had ordered the government to give legal status to volunteers fighting in the Donbas, Reuters reported.