Putin Orders Troop Mobilization in Major Escalation

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial troop mobilization on Wednesday in a major escalation of the Russia-Ukraine War.


Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial troop mobilization and warned he was not bluffing about using Russia’s nuclear arsenal after a series of humiliating defeats for Russian forces in Ukraine.

  • Over 300,000 reservists are being called up by the mobilization order, Russia’s first troop mobilization since the Second World War in “the biggest escalation of the Ukraine war since Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion.”
  • The mobilization comes after Russian forces suffered heavy troop losses against Ukraine’s smaller but tactically superior army and the successful Kharkiv counteroffensive dealt Putin’s military a series of embarrassing setbacks.
  • An EU spokesman said Putin’s comments represented a “very dangerous nuclear gamble” while a British government spokesperson said the partial mobilization is a “clear admission” of failure on Putin’s part.
  • NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg condemned the Russian leader’s “dangerous and reckless rhetoric” and said the partial mobilization signaled “the war is not going according to [Putin’s] plans” after his “big miscalculation” to invade Ukraine.
  • President Joe Biden is expected to devote much of his Wednesday address at the United Nations General Assembly to the war in Ukraine. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden will “offer a firm rebuke of Russia’s unjust war in Ukraine and make a call to the world to continue to stand against [Russia’s] naked aggression.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Putin cornered is Mr. Putin at his most dangerous” and noted his attempt to frame the war as a defensive conflict to protect the “Russkiy Mir” or “Russian world” from the west, instead of a war of aggression against a neighbor.
  • CNN picked up Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s response to Putin’s speech. Zelensky said the move was “no surprise” and showed Russia is dealing with “problems with officers and other military personnel” as high desertion rates hamper Russian military efforts.
  • The Guardian wrote Putin’s message – “This is not a bluff” – about using nuclear weapons against Ukraine “go beyond the Russian nuclear doctrine” and noted Google searches for “how to break your arm” and “how to avoid the draft” surged in Russia after Putin’s speech.


  • National Review explored what a Russian mobilization would look like in practice. In the piece, Mark Antonio Wright explained why “it’s not at all clear that Russia can conscript, equip, arm, and deploy an effective mass army late this fall or winter.”
  • The Wall Street Journal noted the address came after officials announced a plan to annex four Ukrainian regions on Tuesday, which would allow Putin to claim Ukrainian efforts to retake their sovereign territory were actually an attack on Russia.
  • Fox News reported that Ukrainian forces are bracing for a new Russian offensive and one official said Russia is in an unpredictable “state of desperation.” A Ukrainian defense official told Fox News Ukraine planned to keep pressure on Russia to stop them from rebuilding their forces.


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© Dominic Moore, 2022