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In a video address on Sept. 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilization. It will primarily target the Russian Armed Forces' reserve personnel. "Mobilization measures will begin today," Putin said.
In his speech, Putin once again called Kyiv "fascist," said it was Ukraine that invaded Russia in 2014, and hinted that Moscow would annex Russian-occupied territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. Putin once again saber rattled, adding that using nuclear arms remains an option for the Kremlin.
"When its territorial integrity is threatened, Russia will use everything it can, this is not a bluff," Putin said.
Putin's speech was followed by an address by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Shoigu said that the initial plan is to draw nearly 300,000 new soldiers into the army ranks. "The mobilization potential of Russia is 25 million people," Shoigu said.
He also added that Russia lost around 6,000 soldiers, while 90% of those injured are cured and are back in the army.
In early August, the Pentagon said that Russia had up to 80,000 soldiers dead, wounded, or captured. According to Ukraine’s General Staff, Russia has lost 55,110 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24.
The statements by top Russian officials come days after Kyiv's lighting counteroffensive pushed Russian troops out of Kharkiv Oblast. Russian defenses effectively collapsed in Kharkiv Oblast, while Ukraine has confirmed entry in Luhansk Oblast, which was entirely occupied since June.