Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday a partial mobilization in Russia as the war in Ukraine approaches seven months.
Putin’s address to the nation came a day after the Russian-controlled eastern and southern regions of Ukraine announced plans to vote on becoming an integral part of Russia. The Kremlin-backed effort to annex four regions could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war after Ukraine’s success on the battlefield.
Referendums, expected to take place in the months since the war began, will begin on Friday in Luhansk, Kherson and parts of the Russian-held Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions.
Putin said he had signed a decree on partial mobilization, which will begin on Wednesday.
Putin emphasized: “We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens currently in the reserve will be conscripted, and most importantly, those who serve in the military must have a certain military expertise and related experience.”