Putin announces a partial military mobilization for Russian citizen
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a "partial mobilization" of Russia's armed forces on Wednesday morning
Signing a decree that will send Russians who have gone through military training to join the fight in Ukraine while stopping short of an all-out draft.
The announcement came just a day after some Russian-controlled areas in Ukraine announced plans for referendums on becoming part of Russia.
Putin's Wednesday announcement also came as his country has struggled to replenish its fighting force in Ukraine and suffered setbacks on the battlefield amid a surging Ukrainian counteroffensive.
"Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened," the president said. "No one threatened Russia. And no one other than Russia sought conflict."
The Russian leader also insisted Russia had a moral obligation to protect civilians in partially Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine as they held a series of "referendums" aimed at joining the Russian Federation later this week.
The defense minister also provided new figures on Russian casualties — saying 5,937 Russian soldiers had died fighting in Ukraine. Western estimates run much higher.