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Zelensky’s address to Russians: ‘Protest, escape country, or surrender’

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has addressed Russian people in his Telegram channel amid the ongoing mobilisation.

“55,000 Russian servicemen have lost their lives in this war within half a year. Dozens of thousands have been wounded or maimed. Do you want more? If not, then protest, escape your country, or yield yourselves as prisoners to our troops. These are your ways to survive,” he said.

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Zelensky reckons that the announcement of mobilisation means that Russia’s army “is collapsing.” For Russians, the war against Ukraine is no longer “a TV thing, rather a trouble which bothers every family now,” he said.

“We see people in [Russia’s regions of] Dagestan, Buryatia, and others, realise that they have been double-crossed and thrown into the battle inferno with no chance to survive.” He also added that he considers all Russians “partners in crimes” against Ukrainians for “remaining silent.”

Ukraine’s intelligence, he says, has found out that “300,000 draft cards had been printed and signed beforehand,” prior to the official announcement of the mobilisation. Zelensky also added that Russia’s authorities “may draft up to a million men.”

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Putin calls Russia to arms

The first mobilisation since 1941 was announced in Russia, but no one understands how it will work. We explain its main aspects

Russia’s Vladimir Putin announced “partial mobilisation” on 21 September. Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu says 300,000 reservists would be drafted.

A source in Putin’s administration has told Novaya Gazeta. Europe that Russia’s Defence Ministry may draft one million men instead of 300,000.

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