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Ukraine war: Putin declares partial military mobilisation to bolster Russia's troop numbers

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Russia will enforce a partial mobilisation of its citizens to further support the war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said in a much-expected pre-recorded speech on Wednesday morning.The mobilisation, effective immediately, will affect army reserves and those who had previously served in Russia's armed forces."We are talking about partial mobilisation, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces and have a certain military speciality and relevant experience," Putin stressed.Russia is believed to have up to 2 million reservists, but only a fraction receive refresher training regularly.

The partial mobilisation decree might see some 300,000 former active units called into action against Ukraine, however.Putin's address to the nation comes a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold votes on becoming integral parts of Russia.

The Kremlin-backed efforts to swallow up four regions could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war following Ukrainian successes on the battlefield.The referendums, which have been expected to take since the first months of the war, will start on Friday in the eastern Donbas areas of Luhansk and Donetsk and southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.Putin said the decision to partially mobilise was “fully adequate to the threats we face, namely to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and people in the liberated territories”.In his speech, Putin, who avoided calling Russia's full-scale invasion of its neighbour a war, laid blame on the West for the ongoing conflict,

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