Putin Announces Escalation Via Partial Mobilization, Says The West Wants To Destroy Russia

When Russia retreated from northeastern Ukraine earlier in September, many held their breath over what steps Russian President Vladimir Putin — now embarrassed on the world stage and seemingly pushed against a wall — would take next.

People had to hold their breath a little longer as Putin, at the last minute, postponed a televised national address on Tuesday to the next day. The last time he made a similar speech, it was to declare the “special military operation” in Ukraine in late February. 

There was no explanation as to why or even clarity as to the time it would be rescheduled. Just that it wasn’t happening yet.

Putin’s pre-recorded national address was finally aired at 2 a.m. EST. Apart from emphasizing that there will only be partial mobilization, versus the speculated mass mobilization, much of the Russian leader’s address focused on blaming the West and “liberating” the Donbas region from what he still calls “neo-Nazis,” and letting the “liberated” people of this “republic” make their own fate with a referendum.

The Donbas region in eastern Ukraine has two self-proclaimed, pro-Russian republics. The Russian leader said he had ordered the government to give legal status to volunteers fighting there.

Shortly before the speech was postponed, Russian-appointed occupation officials in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia in Ukraine announced that they will hold ‘referendums’ on acceding to Russia from September 23 to 27.

Referenda in the four Russian-occupied regions — the results would most likely be rigged — would open the door to the annexation of the territory by Russia. This means that Moscow could declare further attempts by Ukraine to reclaim these regions as an attack on Russia. This would give Russia the excuse it needs to “defend” itself and threaten nuclear retaliation.

Prior to the address, the Institute for the Study of War’s analysis posits that Russia’s annexation plans are primarily targeted toward a domestic audience. The Kremlin is realizing that it can not conquer Ukraine with its current forces, and may thus be laying the groundwork — setting the legal and informational environment — to push for voluntary mobilization and improve its force generation. 

A new law passed by Russia’s parliament on Tuesday sets the stage for securing more forces. It toughens punishments for crimes such as insubordination during a military mobilization, desertion, and damage to military property.

Reuters also reports that the under the new law, voluntary surrender of Russian military personnel is now a crime punishable by 10 years in prison.

Partial mobilization, Putin reiterated, will only call on those who are in the reserve, and those who have already served and have experience in military operations. He said that the new troops will receive training before deployment. There were no further details to clarify what this would mean, only that “mobilization events” will begin today, Wednesday the 21st of September.

Putin put a lot of weight on blaming the West, saying it “wants to destroy our country” and accused the West of turning “Ukraine’s people into cannon fodder.”

Information for this briefing was found via Twitter, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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