Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization call resulted in protests with people coming out against the war in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Putin on Wednesday had announced partial mobilization to replenish troops involved in the “special operation” in Ukraine.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation.
As cited by Deutsche Welle, he further said that only citizens who were currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, adding that those who served in the armed forces had a certain military specialty and relevant experience.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said 300,000 reservists would be called up.
The news resulted in protests in Russia as this is the country’s first military mobilization ever since World War II.
“This is a very risky step from Putin,” a senior intelligence official told as Yahoo news.
He further added that this call can create anti-regime and antiwar sentiment among the Russian public.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny spoke against the move and said it was “clear that the criminal war is getting worse, deepening, and Putin is trying to involve as many people as possible in this”.
According to Yahoo news, people were out on streets in Moscow demonstrating and chanting slogans like “No to war!”, “Life for our children!” and “Putin in the trenches”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to the situation and said that Putin wanted to drown Ukraine in blood.
UK also expressed doubts about the partial mobilization plan. “Russia is likely to struggle with the logistical and administrative challenges of even mustering the 300,000 personnel,” the British Ministry of Defense said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz call the development from the Russian side an “act of desperation”. He further added that “Russia cannot win this criminal war”.
As per the report, EU Spokesman Peter Stano accused Putin of engaging in a nuclear gamble. “He’s using the nuclear element as part of his arsenal of terror. It’s unacceptable,” he said in response to Putin’s threat of using all means.
Stano also urged the international community to put more pressure on Putin for his “reckless behavior”.