Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a partial mobilisation in Russia in an address transmitted on the Kremlin website.
“Only citizens who are currently in reserve and first and foremost those who served in the Armed Forces and have certain military occupational specialties and the corresponding experience are eligible for mobilisation. Those drafted for military service will undergo obligatory additional military training before they are sent to their units, taking into account the conditions of the special military operation,” the Russian president said.
The corresponding presidential order has already been signed, Putin added. Russian citizens called up for military service during mobilisation will receive the same status and payments as contract servicemen, the president vowed.
The partial mobilisation order includes additional state defence order measures, the Russian leader stated.
“If our country’s territorial integrity is threatened, without a doubt, we will use all the means we have in our possession to protect Russia and our people, this is not a bluff,” Putin said.
Putin also noted that Russia would ensure security at the referendums in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics”, as well as in the Zaporizhzhia and the Kherson regions. “And we will support the decision about their future made by the majority of residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, the Zaporizhzhia and the Kherson region,” he said.
Those “who carry out nuclear blackmail against Russia must remember that the wind rose may turn their way,” the Russian leader warned.
The presidential order on partial mobilisation was published on the Kremlin website immediately after Putin’s address. According to the document, during partial mobilisation, servicemen can only be dismissed from military service for medical reasons, due to their age, or if they are sentenced by court to a prison term. Governors are instructed to ensure the mobilisation draft in their regions. The numbers and the deadline are set by the Russian Defence Ministry for each region. Military service contracts will remain in force until the partial mobilisation is over, except the cases of dismissal, the order reads.
Putin was initially expected to give an address on the evening of 20 September, however, it was postponed.
Yesterday, Russia’s State Duma approved a bill on introducing amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, according to which such terms as “mobilisation”, “martial law”, and “wartime” will be included in the new version of the code. It will now include two new articles: “On voluntary surrender into captivity” and “On looting”. The lawmakers also plan to introduce harsher punishments under the article “On unwarranted leaving of unit or place of service”.
Meanwhile, the “heads” of the self-proclaimed “LPR” and “DPR” as well as the occupation “authorities” of Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions announced yesterday that they would conduct referendums on joining the Russian Federation. The “referendums” will take place from 23 to 27 September. The Russian Election Commission promised to set up polling stations for the referendums and send Russian observers there.