A Call For Sacrifice
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Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military draft Wednesday, a move that would put the nation’s people and economy on a wartime footing amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, CNBC reported.
Putin announced that “mobilization events” would begin, adding that he had previously ordered a boost to the country’s weapons production – the supply of which has been strained by the conflict, which began on Feb. 24.
Officials later explained that the partial mobilization would see 300,000 additional personnel called up to serve in the military campaign against Ukraine. Meanwhile, there has been no declaration of any wider conscription of Russian men of fighting age.
During his announcement, the Russian president also accused Western nations of trying to destroy Russia and turn “Ukraine’s people into cannon fodder.”
A partial mobilization would mean that businesses and citizens will have to provide more contributions to the war effort. The move comes despite Russia not having declared war on Ukraine – it labels its invasion as a “special military operation.”
The decision came after Ukrainian forces reclaimed large swathes of territory in northeastern Ukraine following a lightning counteroffensive.
Observers suggested that the partial mobilization follows plans by Kremlin-backed officials in occupied areas of Ukraine to stage immediate referendums on joining Russia. Such referendums would allow Moscow to claim – falsely – that it was “defending” its own territory and citizens.
Following Putin’s announcement, China’s Foreign Ministry called on all parties to engage in dialogue to resolve their security concerns. But British officials cautioned that Putin’s comments should be taken “very seriously.”
Meanwhile, analysts suggest that morale in the Russian army is low, prompting lawmakers in Russia to tighten up the criminal code around military service, including increasing the punishment for desertion.