EXPLAINER: What does Putin’s declaration of partial mobilization mean? – Nexus News
Russian President Vladimir Putin has imposed a partial mobilization after Moscow’s forces suffered losses in Ukraine.
In a televised speech on Wednesday, Putin cautioned Western nations backing Ukraine that Moscow would protect itself with the power of all its vast arsenal if faced with a nuclear threat from the West.
The strict warning from Russia’s leader marks the biggest escalation of the war since Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine commenced and followed by the decision to call up 300,000 extra reservists.
What did President Vladimir Putin say?
On September 21, President Vladimir Putin directed Russia’s first mobilization since World War II in an early-morning, pre-recorded televised address, stating that additional manpower was required to win a war against Ukraine and its Western alliance.
“To protect our motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to ensure the safety of our people and people in the liberated territories, I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the defense ministry and the General Staff to conduct a partial mobilization in the Russian Federation,” Putin said.
“We are talking about partial mobilization. That is, only citizens who are currently in the reserves and, above all, those who have served in the armed forces have military skills and relevant experience. Only they will be subject to conscription,” he added.
“Conscripts will obligatorily go through additional military training based on the experience of the special military operation before departing to the units,” Putin said, according to an Associated Press news agency translation.
Putin’s speech came after seven months of fighting and follows recent war losses for Moscow’s troops.
It also came a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine revealed plans to hold votes on becoming integral parts of Russia – a decision that could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war following Ukrainian successes.
What does partial mobilization mean?
Putin stated that the conscription will commence on Wednesday, without giving much detail.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, disclosed that he expected 300,000 people to be summoned out of the country’s vast reserves of about 25 million people.
Only those with required combat and service experience will be deployed. Shoigu said that about 25 million people fit this brief, but only about 1 percent will be drafted in.
“In general, a full mobilization would mean that any military-aged man, 18 to 60-year-olds, could not leave Russia and would need to join the military. It’s unclear if this partial mobilization means that,” said Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Kyiv, Ukraine.
The UK’s defense ministry noted that the decision was likely intended to reduce the number of desertions and designed to pacify immediate pressures on the military.
Arme Petimezas, a senior analyst at AFS group, informed the Reuters news agency: “It is not yet a total war for Russia because there is no full mobilization. But I think Putin is underestimated. He has escalated every time. For him, it is life and death. I don’t see why his next move will be de-escalation unless he wins.”
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What did Ukraine say?
Ukrainian officials have roundly condemned Russia’s latest move towards annexation and mobilization, stating that Moscow is behaving in a desperate manner having faced battlefield defeats.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s adviser, Mykhaylo Podolyak, mocked Moscow’s latest steps in a Twitter post.
“Everything is still according to the plan, right? Life has a great sense of humor,” he wrote.
“210th day of the ‘three-day war’. Russians who demanded the destruction of Ukraine ended up getting: 1. Mobilization 2. Closed borders, blocking of bank accounts, 3. Prison for desertion,” said Podolyak.
What were the immediate economic effects?
The euro tumbled to a two-week low against the dollar, European stock markets slipped, and investors piled into safe-haven bonds, pushing yields on German and US government debt down.
Investors seek the safety of US Treasury’s and the Japanese yen.
British and Dutch gas prices increased amid fears of a renewed hit to global financial and energy markets.
Russia’s rouble slumped to a more than two-month low, heading towards 63 to the dollar.
“The initial implications are clear: it’s a potential escalation which is negative for the outlook in the eurozone, and so it’s unsurprising that the euro is weaker. It has boosted risk aversion more broadly, so the dollar is stronger,” Colin Asher, a senior economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank, told Reuters.
“It was interesting to me that the dollar/yen dipped on the news of the announcement, potentially indicating a return of the yen’s safe-haven credentials, which have been absent for much of the year.”