Approximately 3 hours ago, the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin addressed his nation with a pre-recorded message, the first since the February 24th invasion of Ukraine. In the message he announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists who have completed their one year of obligatory time. He stressed the fact that conscripts would not be called at this time and that the West should refrain from engaging in nuclear blackmail over the mobilization.
He also voiced his support for referenda for Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk Oblasts to officially join the Russian Federation, saying that this war began in 2014 and he cannot sit idly by while those regions are torn apart.
Defense Minister Shoigu promptly ordered the Defense Ministry to call up 300,000 reservists with an emphasis on those who have combat experience to be sent to Ukraine where the Russian Federation have sustained at least 50,000 casualties already. Shoigu told the Russian people in a televised speech that Russia is at war with the collective West and that 61,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed compared to about 6,000 Russian soldiers killed since February 24th.
He also said that more than 270 civilian and military satellites from foreign countries are supporting the Ukrainians military which is completely under the control of NATO. The first Russian city to announce mobilization plans was St. Petersburg almost immediately following the Defense Ministers speech.
The Latvian Defense Minister and the US Ambassador to Ukraine we’re the first to issue responses calling the announcement a sign of weakness and a sign that the war in Ukraine will not end anytime soon. The Chinese Foreign Ministry called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, while UK Defense Secretary Wallace told press that Putin has broken his promise to the Russian people and the illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine are a sign of massive failure. The Lithuanian government has put its Rapid Reaction Force in high alert over the announcement of mobilization and the German Chancellory condemned the mobilization calling it an escalation.
The Dutch government however responded that this mobilization does not increase the danger from Russia, but reveals that Putin is panicked.
One way flights to Yerevan, Armenia, Istanbul Turkey, and Tbilisi, Georgia sold out within the hour since those areas do not require visas for Russians to travel to. However, Russian railways and Aeroflot halted ticket sales to men ages 18-55 an hour ago. This development came as the Russian state Duma approved the vote for mobilization with 389 in favor and 1 abstention at 0530 EST.