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
Poland Begins Handing Out Iodine Pills On Fears Of Ukraine Nuclear Plant Meltdown
Poland has begun a program of distributing iodine tablets to emergency workers and first responders, starting with regional fire departments – who can in turn hand them out to the general population – in the event of a possible radioactive disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
A Polish deputy minister first announced the plan on Thursday, warning of the possibility of dangerous radioactive exposure amid continued fighting in neighboring Ukraine, where technicians at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant continue to struggle to maintain safeguards.
“After the media reports about battles near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, we decided… ahead of time to take protective action to distribute iodine,” the Polish official, Blazej Pobozy, said in a national radio broadcast.
“I would like to reassure all citizens that these are routine, preemptive actions that are to protect us in the event of a situation which… I hope will not happen.” Iodine tablets can help protect against conditions associated with radioactive exposure such as thyroid cancer.
The plant has suffered frequently cut power cables, having been removed from the nation’s power grid multiple times and reverting to back-up measures, amid shelling in the area as some 500 Russian troops have occupied the complex since March.
Both sides have continued to blame the other for the deteriorating operating conditions, which earlier in the month caused plant operators to take a sixth reactor off the grid out of an abundance of caution while a power line was being restored after fire.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, “Due to Russian provocation, the Zaporizhzhya plant is one step away from a radiation disaster.”
A couple of IAEA officials are still present at the site, with the UN nuclear watchdog talking about implementing plans to establish a “nuclear safety and security protection zone” around the plant.
Various attempts have been made to model the impact of potential radiation fallout centered at Zaporizhzhia…
Below is a timeline review of events based on Ukrainian regional reporting and Yahoo News:
- Russia captured the Chornobyl NPP in the beginning of the full-scale invasion in Ukraine. On 4 March, it captured the Zaporizhzhia NPP, creating a threat of radiation disaster. In mid-March, Russian occupying forces detonated ammunition on the territory of the ZNPP.
- On 15 July, Energoatom reported that Russia had deployed several missile systems on the territory of the ZNPP. Russian forces were using these weapons to fire on the area around the city of Nikopol.
- On 1 September, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission arrived at the ZNPP.
- On 2 September, Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, confirmed that two representatives of the organisation would remain at the ZNPP after the mission was over.
- On 5 September, four out of six IAEA inspectors finished their inspection of the plant and left the ZNPP. Two IAEA workers remained at the power plant.
- On 5 September, as a result of a fire caused by Russian shelling of the ZNPP, the last line connecting the ZNPP and the Zaporizhzhia Thermoelectric Power Plant to Ukraine’s power grid was disconnected.
Blinken Warns China FM Against Support To Russia At UN
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Chinese counterpart Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday – at a moment tensions over Taiwan are still on edge following Nancy Pelosi’s early August trip to the self-ruled island.
Blinken took the opportunity to again warn Beijing against providing any support to ongoing Russian operations amid the invasion of Ukraine. A statement said the top US diplomat “reiterated the United States’ condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and highlighted the implications if the PRC [People’s Republic of China] were to provide support to Moscow’s invasion of a sovereign state.”
“He underscored that the United States remains open to cooperating with the PRC where our interests intersect,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said of Blinken’s meeting with the Chinese FM.
Blinken told Wang that the US administration desires to keep lines of communication open and wants peace, directly invoking the Taiwan crisis, also after a recent sail through of a US Navy warship of contested waters in the strait.
Blinken “emphasized that the United States is committed to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, consistent with our longstanding one China policy,” Price said.
President Biden’s address to the UNGA the day prior struck a conciliatory tone when compared to his 60 Minutes interview last week, wherein he said the US would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan:
In remarks to the UNGA on Wednesday, Biden said the US opposes “unilateral changes in the status quo” in Taiwan by either side. He also stressed that Washington does not want a confrontation with Beijing.
“Let me be direct about the competition between the United States and China as we manage shifting geopolitical trends: the United States will conduct itself as a reasonable leader,” Biden said.
“We do not seek conflict. We do not seek a cold war. We do not ask any nation to choose between the United States or any other partner,” Biden had followed with, also speaking in the general context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Russia Prepares To ‘Ramp Up’ Stealth Jet Production Amid Rising Threat Of War With West
Russia’s war in Ukraine escalated this week when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of the country’s military and vowed to use “all available means” to deter future attacks against Russia — a reference to the country’s diverse nuclear weapons arsenal.
Then Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, provided fresh warnings Thursday on the heels of Putin’s nuclear threats that “Hypersound [hypersonic weapons] will be able to reach targets in Europe and in the United States much faster, guaranteed.”
Now there’s word that Russian state-owned defense corporation Rostec will increase production of Su-57 5th-generation stealth fighter jets.
“The Russian Air Force will receive new Su-57 jet fighters this year,” Rostec head Sergey Chemezov said on the company’s Telegram channel.
The multirole fifth-generation fighter was first delivered to Russia’s Aerospace Force in 2019. A video surfaced in 2018 of the jets used in Syria for combat operations.
Meanwhile, the US has been training for aerial warfare against Su-57s. We noted in 2019, Nellis Air Force Base had a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon painted to mimic Russia’s fifth-generation stealth fighter.
“The next world war will be fought with fifth-generation fighters and hypersonic weapons,” we said in 2019.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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