Putin mobilises citizens in reserves

What exactly did Putin say?

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilisation” on Wednesday, a move that will see 300,000 Russian citizens in the military reserves called up to serve in Ukraine.

The development marked a significant escalation of Russia’s war on Ukraine and came just a day after a series of co-ordinated moves towards annexation referendums in Russia-occupied Ukrainian areas.

During a televised address, Putin said:

“In such a situation, I consider it necessary to make the following decision, which is fully appropriate to threats we face.

Namely, in order to protect our motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to ensure the safety of our people and people in the liberated territories, I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the defence ministry and the General Staff to conduct a partial mobilisation in the Russian Federation.”

Latvia says it won’t offer refuge to Russians fleeing mobilisation

European Union member state Latvia, which borders Russia, has said it will not offer refuge to any Russians fleeing Moscow’s mobilisation move.

“Due to security reasons, Latvia will not issue humanitarian or other types of visas to those Russian citizens who avoid mobilisation,” Edgars Rinkevics, the country’s foreign minister, tweeted.

Rinkevics said that Latvia would also maintain border crossing restrictions for Russian citizens with Schengen visas, which have been in effect since Monday.

The entry ban – also imposed by Poland, Estonia and Lithuania – is aimed at tourists and excludes Russian dissidents seeking refuge in the EU along with truck drivers, refugees and permanent residents of EU countries as well as those visiting family members.

  • Ukrainians being subjected to ‘savageness’: Pope Francis

    Pope Francis has lamented the war in Ukraine, saying Ukrainians are being subjected to savageness, monstrosities and torture.

    Speaking at the end of his general audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pope, who did not name Russia, said Ukrainians were a “noble” people being martyred.

    He also told the crowd of a conversation he had on Tuesday with Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, his charity chief who is delivering aid in Ukraine.

    “He [Krajewski] told me about the pain of these people, the savagery, the monstrosities, the tortured corpses they find. Let us join these people who are so noble and martyred,” Francis said.

    Mapping the Ukraine regions ‘voting’ on joining Russia

    Russian-backed separatists in occupied regions in Ukraine say they plan to hold “referendums’” on becoming part of Russia between September 23-27.

    Ukraine and its Western allies have condemned the moves, which could set the stage for Moscow to escalate its seven-month-old war.

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