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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia, which will require citizens to join the war effort in Ukraine.
Putin’s speech on Wednesday comes as Russia’s invasion reaches nearly seven months and amid a successful counteroffensive by the Ukrainian military.
The statement also comes a day after Russia announced that it intends to hold elections in the Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine. This would allow these regions to join Russia. Such elections would undoubtedly escalate the war.
Putin’s partial mobilization is scheduled to start on Wednesday.
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“We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserves will be subject to recruitment, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military specialty and relevant experience,” Putin stressed.
Referendums will start on Friday in the Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.
Associated Press contributed to this report.