Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of the Russian military Wednesday morning — signing an order that will send Russians through military training to fight in Ukraine while avoiding any military involvement.
Putin addressed the A nation on television.
The move comes just a day after some Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine announced plans to hold a referendum on becoming part of Russia. The choreographed events were reminiscent of the Russian leader’s announcement in February to send thousands of troops to Ukraine.
Putin’s announcement on Wednesday comes as his country struggles to replenish its combat troops in Ukraine and suffers battlefield setbacks amid escalating Ukrainian aggression.
In a separate television interview, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia would immediately call up 300,000 troops to “hold the front line” in Ukraine.
Bridget Brink, U.S. Rep. in Ukraine, tweeted that Russia was showing “signs of weakness” and signs of failure to escalate the war with Ukraine, vowing: “The U.S. will not condone Russia’s alleged occupation of Ukrainian territory, and we will stand firm.” And Ukraine for as long as it takes.”