World at War
Putin Announces Partial Mobilization In Ukraine War Escalation, Says West Wants To “Destroy Russia”
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…
… and the EUR tumbled even further below parity.
And now we await the Fed.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
World at War
Seymour Hersh makes new Nord Stream sabotage claim
The Pulitzer Prize winner has alleged the US blew up the pipelines because it was unhappy with a lack of German support for Ukraine
US President Joe Biden ordered the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines because he was unhappy with the level of support provided by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed.
Hersh first accused Washington of destroying the key European energy route in an article released in February, and made more allegations in an interview with the China Daily newspaper published on Friday.
“The [US] president was afraid of Chancellor Scholz not wanting to put more guns and more arms [forward for Kiev]. That’s all. I don’t know whether that it was anger or punishment, but the net effect is that it cut off a major power source through Western Europe,” Hersh claimed.
Despite attempts by the US to deny its involvement in the Nord Stream attack, “Europe is in crisis now” and Biden will receive “a lot of criticism for what he did” in the coming months, the journalist argued.
The Pulitzer Prize winner alleged that “the people that were initially asked to do the job” of destroying the pipelines were contacted by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan towards the end of 2021.
The initial purpose of mining Nord Stream 1 and 2, built to deliver Russian gas to Europe through Germany, was “to give the [US] president an option to say to [Russian] President Putin, ‘If you go to war [in Ukraine], we’re going to destroy the pipelines,’” Hersh claimed.
Biden himself publicly confirmed that stance but “unfortunately, those people in the Western press seemed to have forgotten,” the journalist stated.
Just under three weeks before the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, Biden warned during a press conference on February 7 that “if Russia invades… there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
According to Hersh, the US leader decided to order the detonation of mines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea last September because the conflict “wasn’t going great in Ukraine” from a US perspective. There was “at best a stalemate”during that period, in what Hersh described as “the American war that President Biden was so eager to support.”This post was originally published at RT
World at War
Russian Military Warns Uranium Shells Will Cause Irreversible Harm To All Ukrainians
The Russian military has weighed in on the UK’s plans to supply depleted uranium tank rounds to Ukrainian forces, which was announced by UK’s junior Defense Minister Annabel Goldie in a Tuesday parliament briefing.
Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense troops of the Russian armed forces, told a press briefing Friday that the weaponry will cause irreparable harm to all Ukrainians, whether civilian or military.
“Despite the fact that the use of such ammunition [with depleted uranium] will cause irreparable harm to the health of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the civilian population, NATO countries, in particular the UK, express their readiness to supply this type of weapon to the Kiev regime,” Kirillov said.
“As a result of the impact of a depleted uranium munition, a mobile hot cloud of a finely dispersed aerosol of uranium-238 and its oxides is formed, which, when exposed to the body in the future, can provoke the development of serious diseases,” Kirillov said.
He described that when compounds in the advanced ammunition seeps into the soil or disperses across the environment, it will be “dangerous for people, animals and the environment for a long time.”
On Wednesday, Britain responded to Russian officials saying this constitutes escalation on the nuclear front, given that Kiev will be handed “nuclear components”…
James Cleverly, Britain’s foreign secretary, told reporters on Wednesday that there was “no nuclear escalation,” adding, “The only country in the world that is talking about nuclear issues is Russia.”
Depleted uranium has for decades been used by NATO, and was known for being used against Serbian forces in the late 1990’s, as well as in Iraq. It is two-and-a-half times denser than steel, and thus can penetrate armor, for example it can cut straight through tanks.
China has previously condemned the use of depleted uranium by the Western alliance:
But it not only has radioactivity but is toxic to humans long after being dispersed on the battlefield. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova emphasized this in an initial Kremlin reaction on Tuesday…
“Yugoslav scenario. These shells not only kill, but infect the environment and cause oncology in people living on these lands,” she said, in reference to cancer and other deadly ailments.
“By the way, it is naive to believe that only those against whom all this will be used will become victims. In Yugoslavia, NATO soldiers, in particular the Italians, were the first to suffer. Then they tried for a long time to get compensation from NATO for lost health. But their claims were denied,” she said.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
World at War
Medvedev Warns Germany Arrest of Putin Will be Declaration of War on Russia
Says Moscow could bomb the International Criminal Court.
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has warned Germany that any attempt to arrest President Vladimir Putin will represent a declaration of war on Russia and said Moscow could respond by bombing the International Criminal Court.
Medvedev made the threat after the the International Criminal Court at the Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of perpetrating war crimes by being involved in the forcible transfer of children from Ukraine to Russia.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he supported the ruling and during a visit to Japan said “no one is above the law.”
Russia, which doesn’t recognize the authority of the ICC and is not a member of it, hasn’t reacted kindly.
“Some idiots, halfwits like the German justice minister, say, ‘Well, if he comes, we’ll arrest him.’.. Does he understand what that means? Let’s imagine… the incumbent head of a nuclear state arrives on the territory of, say, Germany and is arrested. What is this? A declaration of war on the Russian Federation!” Medvedev said in an interview Russian media outlets.
Medvedev said Moscow would respond by targeting “the Bundestag, the chancellor’s office, and so on.”
The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin. No need to explain WHERE this paper should be used🧻.
— Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussiaE) March 17, 2023
The former president even suggested in a Telegram message sent to his followers that Russia could bomb the ICC headquarters.
“It is quite possible to imagine the targeted use of a hypersonic launch from the North Sea from a Russian ship at the Hague courthouse,” wrote Medvedev, describing the court as “shitty” and “useless”.
“The court is just a miserable international organization,” he added, noting that those working within it should “carefully look into the sky” to see if they can spot Russian missiles.
He went on to add that Russian relations with the west “have probably never been worse in history” and that NATO’s goal was to wipe out Russia altogether.
“They do not want to see the Russian Federation itself, they don’t need us. And this is their geopolitical, geostrategic idea of very old times. Why do they need such a country, which has a huge territory and the most serious nuclear shield, and which does not even obey the Americans?” said the former president.
Meanwhile, Russian law enforcement officials have opened up their own criminal investigation into the International Criminal Court, focusing on judges and prosecutors who made the decision to issue the arrest warrant for Putin.
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