The partial mobilization of Russia's reservists announced by President Vladimir Putin has drawn fresh criticism from the international community
months after the beginning of the military aggression in Ukraine, the Kremlin
leader Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday a partial mobilization of the
reservists. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that 300,000 reservists
with military experience would be called up. Putin also warned that Moscow was
ready to use "all its defense means", including nuclear ones, to, he said,
"defend itself". This announcement was made as Russia had been losing ground on
the battlefield, and the partial mobilization was decreed just one day after
separatist officials in four Ukrainian regions partially occupied by the
Russian army announced referendums on joining Russia.
After the Kremlin leader announced the mobilization of
reservists to fight in Ukraine, a series of protests broke out in Russia. A human
rights organization in that country claims that the authorities have arrested
hundreds of people, because they demonstrated against the partial mobilization.
Most arrests were made in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but protests were reported
in more than 30 other cities.
Reactions also began to pour from the international community. Meeting
urgently in New York, in a session convened on Wednesday in parallel with the
UN General Assembly, the EU Foreign Ministers adopted a declaration firmly
condemning Russia for the recent escalation of the conflict, through the
mobilization of reservists, as ordered by President Putin. The head of the EU
diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that the member countries were looking into new
sanctions against Russia, which would materialize soon. This new package of
sanctions will affect new sectors of the Russian economy, including technology,
and will include new people, but it has not yet been finalized, Josep Borrell
American officials also condemned the partial mobilization order. White
House leader Joe Biden has said the aggression in Ukraine is a one-man war that
141 nations have united to unequivocally condemn and criticized Vladimir Putin
for the nuclear threats. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has denounced
the Russian president's "dangerous nuclear rhetoric" and added that Russia's
first mobilization since World War II is not a surprise, but it will escalate
the conflict in Ukraine.
The Romanian head of state, Klaus Iohannis, has also condemned the announcement regarding Russia's next steps towards carrying on the escalation of this war. "Romania reiterates its call to Russia to immediately stop the aggression against Ukraine and to completely withdraw all its armed forces", Klaus Iohannis said. In another move, the EU member states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, which border Russia, will not offer refuge to any Russian citizen who wants to leave the country after the announcement regarding the mobilization of troops, officials from the three states said. A reaction also came from China, which demanded, on Wednesday, a "truce through dialogue" in Ukraine. (MI)