- Russian President Vladimir Putin announces a “partial mobilisation” of its citizens as Moscow loses ground on the battlefield.
- In a televised address, Putin tells the West that “it’s not a bluff” that Russia would use all the means at its disposal to protect its territory.
China urges consultation, dialogue
China’s foreign ministry has urged all parties to engage in dialogue and consultation to address the security concerns of all after Russian Putin warned the West over what he described as “nuclear blackmail”.
China’s position on Ukraine is consistent and clear, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular media briefing on Wednesday.
Putin wants to ‘ramp up’ military forces: AJ correspondent
Al Jazeera’s correspondent Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Kyiv, said Putin’s speech was “definitely an escalation” signalling a move to achieve Russia’s military objectives in Ukraine.
“Clearly it is an indication that Putin wants to ramp up the amount of military forces he can call on to fight this war in Ukraine,” Elizondo said.
“No matter how you look at it, it’s definitely an escalation, if you will, and a realisation that perhaps Moscow needs more troops in Ukraine to achieve its military goals,” he said.
Russia’s mobilisation will see 300,000 drafted, says defence minister Shoigu
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu said President Vladimir Putin’s decree on partial mobilisation would see 300,000 additional personnel called up to serve in Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.
In an interview with Russian state television, Shoigu said that students and those who served as conscripts would not be called up, and that the majority of Russia’s millions-strong reserves would not be drafted.
UK official says Putin’s threats must be taken seriously
Russian President Putin’s speech was a worrying escalation and his threats must be taken seriously, British foreign office minister Gillian Keegan told Sky News.
“Clearly it’s something that we should take very seriously because, you know, we’re not in control – I’m not sure he’s in control either, really. This is obviously an escalation,” she said.
Putin orders partial Russian mobilisation
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia’s first mobilisation since World War II, warning the West that if it continued what he called its “nuclear blackmail” that Moscow would respond with the might of all its vast arsenal.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we use all available means to protect our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation.
Putin said he had signed a decree on a partial mobilisation, which significantly escalates the conflict.