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Russia’s Partial Mobilization Move

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On September 21, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that “partial mobilization” was declared. In the statement made by the Kremlin, it was stated that the decision was made to “protect the territorial integrity of the country and ensure the safety of the citizens in the liberated lands”. Also in the statement, “not only neo-Nazi formations; all military pressures of the collective West would be resisted.” have also been stated.[1]

In his evaluation on the subject, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that it is necessary to control the 1000 km contact line and the “liberated areas” in Ukraine, that a total of 300,000 reserve soldiers will be called for duty, which is just over 1% of the country’s total mobilization resource.[2]

On the other hand, Putin emphasized that only those on the reserve list are subject to compulsory military service with those sentences:[3]

“These; They are people who have done military service, have military expertise and are experienced. In addition, these people will undergo additional training before being sent to their relevant units.”

Within the scope of the special military operation initiated by Putin on February 24, 2022, with the claim of “protecting the victims who were subjected to genocide for eight years by the Kyiv regime”,[4] Russian soldiers made rapid progress in the first days of the war, succeeded in gaining the superiority of space on the Donbas borders, and deployed to the Kherson and Kharkov regions. With those developments Russian Army cut the Kyiv administration’s connection with the Sea of ​​Azov. However, recently, the Ukrainian Army has taken back more than 300 settlements, some of them metropolitan areas, from the controlds of the Russians. In addition, in the statement made by the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, it was stated that 6000 km2 of land occupied by the Russian Army in September 2022 was taken back.[5]

For Putin, it seems easy at first; however, the war in question, which lasted longer than expected and did not bring any tangible success, has now put Russia in new pursuits and pushed it to take some steps. With its “partial mobilization” move, the Kremlin tacitly acknowledged that the process it describes as a “special operation” was a war; it did not hesitate to threaten the West with its statements that he would not hesitate to use nuclear power.[6]

In addition, realizing the dysfunctionality of the “people’s republic” models Russia established in the occupied territories, Russia chose the method it resorted to in the annexation of Crimea in 2014 in order to retain these regions, and that the referendums to masquerading as “self-determination”. Also in Russia’s perspective, those referendums should be implemented under “safe conditions” and should be implemented “officially” and Russia will try to realize at least a part of Putin’s dream of Novorossiya. This decision was not surprising for the Kyiv administration, as preparations for mobilization continued throughout the summer months in Russia.When looking at the country in general, the said decision creates discomfort in a certain part of the public; After Putin’s statements, protests began in the streets. In addition, the number of people leaving Russia has also increased. Nearly 1,500 people were detained during the protests. In addition, air ticket prices have increased very quickly and ticket stocks have run out in many places.[7]

On the other hand, Finland has completely closed its border crossing to Russian citizens. Another noteworthy point is the approval of amendments to the Russian Penal Code, which provides for a prison sentence of up to 10 years for refusal to participate in military operations during martial law or armed conflict “with grave consequences”.

While the Western powers declared that they would invalidate the referendums; described the referendums as “violations of international law” and linked the declaration of mobilization with the failure of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

On the other hand, Lithuania took the declaration of partial mobilization in Russia seriously and took a decision to raise the army’s vigilance. Lithuanian Defense Minister Anusauskas said, “Lithuania has to make some preparations, as Russian military mobilization will also take place in the Kaliningrad region.”[8] In addition, Lithuania called on the West to increase military support to Ukraine.[9]

As a result, it is possible to say that with the partial mobilization decision, the Russian Army admitted that it did not achieve its goal of occupation on Ukraine. In fact, it was not easy for Putin to decide to take action because of the possible risks. However, the Russian leader chose to increase the pressure to manipulate the Kyiv administration. In other words, it is clear that Russia is experiencing more and more resource shortages. In addition, it can be said that Russia made such a move to force Ukraine to sit at the negotiating table.


[1] “Частичная мобилизация в России. Главные заявления Путина и Шойгу”, Gazerta.ru, https://www.gazeta.ru/politics/2022/09/21/15488425.shtml, (Date of Accession: 22.09.2022).

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Путин объявил о частичной мобилизации в России”, BBC NEWS, https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-62977634, (Date of Accession: 22.09.2022).

[4] “Обращение Президента Российской Федерации”, Kremlin, http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67843, (Date of Accession: 22.09.2022).

[5] “Зеленский: ВСУ освободили свыше 6000 кв. км, движение войск продолжается”, Ukrainskaya Pravda, https://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2022/09/12/7367187/, (Date of Accession: 22.09.2022).

[6] “Это не блеф”: Путин пригрозил Западу ядерным оружием”, RBK-Ukraina, https://www.rbc.ua/ukr/news/tse-blef-putin-prigroziv-zahodu-dernoyu-zbroeyu-1663741633.html, (Date of Accession: 22.09.2022).

[7] “Побег из России, билеты распроданы и цены взлетели до небес. Протесты в городах, более тысячи арестов”, L’unionesarda.it, https://www.unionesarda.it/news/mondo/fuga-dalla-russia-dopo-lannuncio-di-putin-biglietti-esauriti-e-prezzi-alle-stelle-oofx9ybl, (Date of Accession:22.09.2022).

[8] “Литва привела силы в боевую готовность из-за мобилизации в Калининграде”, BigMir.net, https://news.bigmir.net/world/6872685-litva-privela-sily-v-boevuyu-gotovnost-iz-za-mobilizatsii-v-kaliningrade, (Date of Accession: 22.09.2022).

[9] “Министр обороны Литвы: Запад должен усилить военную поддержку Украины”, EurAsia Daily, https://eadaily.com/ru/news/2022/09/21/ministr-oborony-litvy-zapad-dolzhen-usilit-voennuyu-podderzhku-ukrainy, (Date of Accession: 22.09.2022).

Aidana BAKTYBEK KYZY
Aidana BAKTYBEK KYZY
Aidana BAKTYBEK KYZY, 1999 yılında Bişkek'te doğmuştur. BAKTYBEK KYZY, 2022yılında Sakarya Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü'nden mezun olmuştur. Halihazırda yüksek lisans eğitimini Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü'nde devam ettirmektedir.