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Ukraine conflict escalates as Putin orders partial mobilization

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a decree on partial mobilization in the country, saying that the country will take all “urgent steps” to protect its sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity to counter the “aggressive policy of part of the Western elites” who he said are “striving with all their might” to maintain their dominance.  

“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we use all available means to protect our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a TV address to the nation.

“I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff to conduct partial mobilization in the Russian Federation,” he added.

The mobilization activities, he said, will start from today itself.

The Russian President said that the main goals of its ongoing military operation – the liberation of the entire territory of Donbass and the Luhansk People’s Republic – remain unchanged.

“The Luhansk People’s Republic has already been almost completely cleared of neo-Nazis. Fighting in the Donetsk People’s Republic continues,” he said during his televised address.

Putin also emphasised that most people in these regions under Russian control do not want to stay under Ukrainian rule.

“The purpose of this West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country. They are already directly saying that in 1991 they were able to split the Soviet Union, and now the time has come for Russia itself, that it should disintegrate into many mortally hostile regions and regions,” he said.

He also accused the West of trying to block, and suppress any sovereign independent centres of development in order to continue to “crudely impose their will on other countries and peoples, to plant their pseudo-values”.

Putin said that the Western countries have encouraged gangs of international terrorists in the Caucasus and promoted the “offensive infrastructure of NATO” close to Russian borders.

“They made total Russophobia their weapon, including for decades they purposefully nurtured hatred for Russia, primarily in Ukraine, which they prepared for the fate of an anti-Russian foothold, and the Ukrainian people themselves were turned into cannon fodder and pushed to war with our country, unleashing it – this war – back in 2014, using the armed forces against the civilian population, organizing genocide, blockade, terror against people who refused to recognize the power that arose in Ukraine as a result of a coup,” said the Russian President.

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