Russia is now trying to consolidate control over its occupied territories. The Russian-controlled “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk has announced “referendums” on union with Russia. The Russian occupation authorities in the Ukrainian regions of Cherson and Zaporizhia followed on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country’s first mobilization since the Second World War to fight in Ukraine on Wednesday, with about 300,000 military reservists called up.
Putin and his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, called the move a “partial mobilization,” with the 300,000 coming from an approximate two million in the reserves. Putin said the mobilization was to defend Russia and its territories, adding that the West did not want peace in Ukraine.
The Russian President also appeared to make a thinly veiled threat of using nuclear weapons, saying that “nuclear blackmail has come into play” by western nation and saying he’d remind those making statements that Russia has its own “variety of weapons of destruction.”