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Putin Announces Partial Mobilization In Ukraine War Escalation, Says West Wants To “Destroy Russia”

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In a nationwide address that was delayed from its prime-time Tuesday delivery and ahead of votes in four Ukraine regions to join Russia, on Wednesday morning Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization, while vowing to use all means necessary to defend Russia and pledged to annex the territories already occupied by Russia, raising the stakes in the seven-month-old conflict.

Calling the moves “urgent, necessary steps to defend the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia,” Putin said that Russia is fighting the full might of NATO. The US and its allies, he said, are seeking to “destroy” Russia.

The partial mobilization means that reservists will be drafted into military service, Putin said, starting immediately. The Armed Forces will draw on military reservists only, and those who have completed national service, the president said promising that they will be provided with additional training along with all the benefits due to people involved in active duty.

The measure is “sensible and necessary” under the circumstances, Putin stated, adding that he has already signed an order for the call-up to start immediately.

In his speech, Putin accused Kiev of backing away from peace talks, acting on direct orders from its Western allies. Instead of negotiating, the Ukrainian government has beefed up its military with NATO-trained troops, many of whom are neo-Nazi extremists, he said.

Putin also accused the west of using “nuclear blackmail” against Russia noting that “if its territorial integrity is threatened Russia will definitely use all the means at its disposal.” to defend Russian territory. “This is not a bluff.”

Russian forces sent to Ukraine in February have secured a large portion of territory claimed by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as parts of Ukraine, and the resulting frontline stretches over 1,000km, according to the Russian president.

Putin also commented on the upcoming referendums in the two Donbass republics and two regions of Ukraine currently controlled to a large extent by Russian troops. The territories which include Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces, have announced plebiscites on whether become part of Russia, with the ballots scheduled to start on Friday. Putin said his government will respect the outcome of the four referendums, and provide security for the voting process.

Some other notable highlights from Putin’s address:

  • the contracts for reserves last “until the end of the partial mobilization period” i.e. indefinitely
  • governors of Russian regions decide who and how many people get sent to the front

Putin’s full decree on mobilization can be found on the Kremlin website although it is blocked for most western browsers. It says mobilized Russians will be treated the same as contract troops. The criteria for exemption are age, health, being in jail, and working in the armaments industry. Details from the (google-translated) decree below:

In accordance with the federal laws of May 31, 1996 No. 61-FZ “On Defense”, of February 26, 1997 No. 31-FZ “On mobilization training and mobilization in the Russian Federation” and of March 28, 1998 No. 53- Federal Law “On military duty and military service” I decide:

1. To announce partial mobilization in the Russian Federation from September 21, 2022.

2. To carry out the call of citizens of the Russian Federation for military service for mobilization in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Citizens of the Russian Federation called up for military service by mobilization have the status of military personnel serving in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation under a contract.

3. Establish that the level of pay for citizens of the Russian Federation called up for military service by mobilization into the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation corresponds to the level of pay for military personnel serving in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation under a contract.

4. Contracts for the passage of military service concluded by military personnel continue to be valid until the end of the period of partial mobilization, with the exception of cases of dismissal of military personnel from military service on the grounds established by this Decree.

5. Establish during the period of partial mobilization the following grounds for the dismissal from military service of servicemen undergoing military service under a contract, as well as citizens of the Russian Federation called up for military service for mobilization in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation:

a) by age – upon reaching the age limit for military service;

b) for health reasons – in connection with their recognition by the military medical commission as unfit for military service, with the exception of military personnel who have expressed a desire to continue military service in military positions that can be replaced by the specified military personnel;

c) in connection with the entry into force of a court verdict on the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment.

6. To the Government of the Russian Federation:

a) to finance activities for partial mobilization;

b) take the necessary measures to meet the needs of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military formations and bodies during the period of partial mobilization.

8. The highest officials of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation shall ensure the conscription of citizens for military service for mobilization in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the number and within the time limits determined by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for each constituent entity of the Russian Federation.

9. Provide citizens of the Russian Federation working in organizations of the military-industrial complex with the right to deferment from conscription for military service for mobilization (for the period of work in these organizations). The categories of citizens of the Russian Federation who are granted the right to deferment and the procedure for granting it are determined by the Government of the Russian Federation.

10. This Decree comes into force from the day of its official publication.

Following Putin’s address, Russia’s minister of defense Sergei Shoigu also delivered a nationwide TV address, in which he said that the battlefield conditions in Ukraine as “difficult.”

“We are not fighting with Ukraine, but with the collective west ” he said, noting mobilization will be gradual, not one-time. He also added more nuclear threats: “All types of arms, including the nuclear triad, are fulfilling their tasks.”

Some more highlights from Shoigu’s address:

  • Calling up the reserves adds about 300,000 men to Russia’s forces
  • “These are not people who’ve never seen or heard anything about the army.”
  • Students are exempt and “only 1% of mobilization potential” will be used

Following the partial mobilization announcement, oil surged…

… futures tumbled…

…the Bloomberg dollar index soared to a new record high…

…yields dropped…

… and the EUR tumbled even further below parity.

And now we await the Fed.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Ukraine Tells People Not To Panic As WHO Warns Of ‘Life-Threatening’ Winter

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Andrii Dubchak/Donbas Frontliner via Zaborona/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a Monday statement that the power situation in Ukraine is so dire that it will potentially be “life-threatening” for millions of Ukrainians due to the recent devastating series of Russian air attacks on the national energy grid.

“Put simply – this winter will be about survival,” Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the United Nations’ health body, said from the Ukrainian capital. “This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine,” he added. 

The attacks, the last major wave of which came this past Tuesday and continued intermittently into the weekend, are “already having knock-out effects on the health system and on the people’s health,” Kluge described. 

“Continued attacks on health and energy infrastructure mean hundreds of hospitals and health care facilities are no longer fully operational,” the WHO official said. “We expect two to three million more people to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety,” he forewarned. 

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal last Friday estimated that half of the entirety of the country’s energy infrastructure has been disabled by the Russian attacks at this point. Millions are already without power as temperatures plunge and Kiev saw its first snow of the season starting days ago. 

“Unfortunately Russia continues to carry out missile strikes on Ukraine’s civilian and critical infrastructure. Almost half of our energy system is disabled,” Shmyhal was cited in Reuters as saying.

Politico reported last week that Congressional leaders had been given classified intelligence reports detailing the expected impact of Russia’s campaign to degrade Ukraine’s power grid. 

“The Ukrainian government is warning Western allies that it is anticipating increased Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure in the coming days and that Kyiv does not have enough replacement parts to bring heat and power back online if those occur, according to two congressional officials and one Western official briefed on U.S. intelligence,” the report said.

Politico detailed further that “Ukrainian officials have in recent days asked their American counterparts and more than half a dozen European countries for assistance preparing for a prolonged period with limited electricity and gas — a scenario Kyiv expects to complicate fighting on the ground and displace civilians, the officials and an adviser to the Ukrainian government said.”

Amid emergency rolling blackouts and city or regional mandates banning use of large appliances and other imposed consumption limits, Ukraine government officials are urging the people not to panic. “Denying the panicky statements spread by social networks and online media, we assure you that the situation with the energy supply is difficult, but under control,” the energy ministry said in a Saturday statement.

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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AP Fires Reporter Behind False Report Claiming ‘Russian Missiles Struck Poland’

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Chris Menahan | Information Liberation

Artur Widak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Associated Press on Monday fired one of two reporters with a byline on last week’s now-retracted report that claimed “Russian missiles” had “crossed into NATO member Poland” and killed two people.

From The Daily Beast, AP Fires Reporter Behind Retracted ‘Russian Missiles’ Story”:

That report, which was widely cited across the internet and on cable news, was taken offline the following day and replaced with an editor’s note admitting the single source [a “senior U.S. intelligence official”] was wrong and that “subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.”

On Monday, the AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for that story, Confider has learned.

The piece, which was originally co-bylined with John Leicester (who is still working at the AP), attributed the information to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official,” despite the AP’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.”

The only exception, according to its statement of news values and principles, is when “material comes from an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy”—a situation that seemingly did not occur, as the report was fully retracted last Wednesday.

When reached for comment, an AP spokesperson did not comment on LaPorta’s ouster but instead wrote: “The rigorous editorial standards and practices of The Associated Press are critical to AP’s mission as an independent news organization. To ensure our reporting is accurate, fair and fact-based, we abide by and enforce these standards, including around the use of anonymous sources.”

The Washington Post blamed internal “confusion and misunderstanding” for the report:

Internal AP communications viewed by The Post show some confusion and misunderstanding during the preparations of the erroneous report.

LaPorta shared the U.S. official’s tip in an electronic message around 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. An editor immediately asked if AP should issue an alert on his tip, “or would we need confirmation from another source and/or Poland?”

After further discussion, a second editor said she “would vote” for publishing an alert, adding, “I can’t imagine a U.S. intelligence official would be wrong on this.”

Woman moment.

But a person at the Associated Press familiar with the larger conversations surrounding the story that day said LaPorta also told his editors that a senior manager had already vetted the source of LaPorta’s tip — leaving the impression that the story’s sourcing had been approved. While that editor had signed off on previous stories using LaPorta’s source, that editor had not weighed in on the missile story.

Easton said the organization did not anticipate any discipline for the editors involved.

“She” voted to publish this bombshell report that violated the AP’s own rules on the use of anonymous sources and risked sparking WW3 because she couldn’t “imagine” a senior U.S. intelligence official could be wrong but she is not being fired — only LaPorta is getting canned.

Some great “standards” you got there, AP!

This post was originally published at Information Liberation

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Sweden Finds “Foreign Objects” & Explosive Residue On Nord Stream Pipelines

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Swedish Coast Guard / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Swedish investigators announced Friday the conclusion of their formal investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline blasts on September 26. To nobody’s surprise, the investigation has concluded the natural gas leaks which rocked European energy markets and resulted in tit-for-tat accusations between Moscow and the West was the result of “gross sabotage”. 

While not naming a culprit, the Swedish final report of this initial stage of the inquiry uncovered evidence of “foreign objects” placed on the pipelines

“During analyzes carried out, residues of explosives have been identified on several of the foreign objects seized,” the report said

The Swedish Prosecution Authority’s statement said, “In the crime scene investigations carried out on site in the Baltic Sea, the area and the extensive damage to the gas lines as a result of the detonations have been extensively documented.”

Russia has denied responsibility, while at the same time pointing the finger at Washington or its allies. Swedish investigators say they will now work toward establishing who was behind the sabotage:

“The advanced analysis work is still in progress – the aim is to draw more definitive conclusions about the Nord Stream incidents,” the agency said. “The investigation is extensive and complex and will eventually show whether anyone can be suspected of, and later prosecuted for this.”

Previously, Denmark and Sweden said soon after the massive leaks in late September that the blasts “probably corresponded to an explosive load of several hundred kilos.”

Russian media sources, as well as a handful of Western pundits, have alleged that US naval activity was observed in that regional of the Baltic Sea during the time of the incident. 

If Sweden ultimately says that Russia was behind the attack on the pipelines, Moscow is likely to dismiss it, and call for their own independent access to and investigation of the evidence and site.

This post originally appeared at Zero Hedge

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