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Putin announces Russia’s ‘partial mobilization’ as occupied regions schedule annexation ‘referendums’

In a national address aired Wednesday morning, President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of Russia’s armed forces.

“For the defense of our homeland and integrity, I consider it necessary to support partial mobilization,” the president said (quoted by REN TV channel).

Only those citizens who are in the reserve and, above all, those who have served in the armed forces, have certain military professions and relevant experience will be called up for military service. Those called up for military service will necessarily undergo additional military training before being sent to their units.

Putin also welcomed the “referendums” scheduled to take place between September 23 and 27 in four regions of Ukraine now partially occupied by Russian troops: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.

Moscow’s escalation of its invasion comes weeks into a Ukrainian counteroffensive that has liberated thousands of square miles around Kharkiv and in other occupied regions. For the past several months, journalists and experts in Russia debated whether the Kremlin would postpone the annexation of more Ukrainian territory until its battlefield situation improved. With that process now officially underway, the Putin administration has raised the stakes of its claims on eastern Ukraine.

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