Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilisation will see 300,000 drafted, says defence minister

Russia signals annexation of parts of Ukraine, raising stakes in fighting

A woman collects wood for heating from a destroyed school where Russian forces were based in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP)

After stunning battlefield setbacks, Russia moved to cement its grip on territory it occupies in eastern and southern Ukraine, as Kremlin proxies there announced plans on Tuesday for referendums on annexation to Russia, indicating a possible escalation of the war.

The Kremlin signalled that if Russia were to go forward with annexation — even if no other countries recognised it — any further military action by Ukraine in those regions could be seen as an attack on Russia itself, justifying any military response by the nation with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.

“Encroaching on the territory of Russia is a crime, the commission of which allows you to use all the forces of self-defense,” Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and the vice chairman of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Security Council, wrote on the Telegram social network Tuesday, describing the referendums as having “huge significance.” (Read more)

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