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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia, which will force citizens to join the war effort in Ukraine.
Putin’s speech on Wednesday comes as the Russian invasion has dragged on for nearly seven months and amid a successful Ukrainian military counteroffensive.
The statement also comes a day after Russia announced its intention to hold elections in Russian-controlled regions in the East and southern Ukraine. This would allow these regions to join Russia. Such elections would undoubtedly aggravate the war.
Putin’s partial mobilization is due to begin on Wednesday.
“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 have served in the armed forces have a certain military specialty and relevant experience “, Putin underlined.
Referendums are due to start on Friday in Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.