Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia, which will require citizens to join the war effort in Ukraine.
Putin’s address on Wednesday comes as Russia’s invasion reaches nearly seven months and amid a successful counter-offensive by Ukraine’s military.
The statement also comes one day after Russia announced it intends to hold elections in Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine. This would allow these regions to join Russia. Such elections would undoubtedly escalate the war.
Putin’s partial mobilization is set to start on Wednesday.
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“We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military specialty and relevant experience,” Putin stressed.
The referendums are set to start Friday in the Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.