The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Putin drafts up to 300,000 reservists, backs annexation amid war losses

By Robyn Dixon, Catherine Belton, Mary Ilyushina

21 Sep 2022 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

You should read this story to understand the implications of Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to draft reservists and why analysts think it's not going to help.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a partial military mobilization Wednesday to call up as many as 300,000 reservists in a dramatic bid to reverse setbacks in his war on Ukraine, including Russia's recent humiliating retreat in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

In a national address broadcast at 9 a.m. Moscow time, Putin lashed out at the West, backed staged referendums being planned as a precursor to annexation of occupied areas of Ukraine, and hinted ominously that he was ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory - as he defines it.

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