The decision of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to announce partial mobilization in the country caused a real stir in the West: Vice-Chancellor of Germany Robert Habeck called such a step “bad and wrong”, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Peter Fiala considered this an attempt to further aggravate the situation in Ukraine, and the head of the Belgian government Alexander De Croon the contrary, he called on the European Union to remain calm and “not to add fuel to the fire.”
The Russian leader said his order was “fully adequate to the threats” the country is facing. According to him, today the RF Armed Forces operate on the line of combat contact, which exceeds a thousand kilometers, and oppose not only the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but in fact the entire “military machine of the collective West.”
“We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all those who served in the armed forces, have certain military specialties and relevant experience” , Putin emphasized in his address.
The President added that mobilization activities will begin on Wednesday, September 21. In this regard, he instructed the heads of the regions to provide “all necessary assistance to the work of the military commissariats.”
“We can’t just watch”
At the same time, a number of European states took Putin’s words as a veiled signal addressed to them. So, for example, the Baltic countries have already begun to develop response measures, fearing a possible threat from Kaliningrad. Although the mayor Eugene Lyubivy assured that no additional decisions on the issue of mobilization have yet been made, it is obvious that all further steps taken in the Russian Federation will be carried out in the esclave.
“How many residents are subject to partial mobilization in Kaliningrad? So far there are no such figures. In the near future, we will work on this issue with the military registration and enlistment office, with the structures responsible for this issue, ”he said at a meeting of the City Council.
In response, the Minister of Defense of Lithuania Arvydas Anusauskas announced that the authorities of the republic had put the rapid reaction forces on high alert. Now in Vilnius they are discussing further military support for Ukraine – an example, according to him, “all allies” should follow.
“Since the Russian military mobilization will also be carried out in the Kaliningrad region, in our neighborhood, Lithuania cannot just watch. The level of readiness in our rapid reaction forces is increasing,” the Lithuanian minister warned on social networks.
Deputy Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces Major General Veiko-Vello Palm regarded the decree of the Russian leader as “another escalation” and warned that a counter package of measures was already being prepared in Tallinn. At the same time, NATO’s reaction to Moscow’s actions will depend on what decision the Alliance’s political leadership comes to, he added.
“The direct military threat to the Estonian state only from this paper has not increased at the moment. But the importance of such a step cannot be underestimated. <…> This is an important enough event to talk about it right away. The development of our package of measures is at the final stage and it will be presented to the minister very soon, ”the ERR portal quotes him.
In addition, Estonia will close entry for Russians with a residence permit who left the republic to take part in a special operation in Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the population of the country is 1.3 million people, of which about 80,000 have Russian citizenship.
“Estonia has not imposed restrictions on citizens of the Russian Federation wishing to leave Estonia. However, if we find out that they left to participate in the war with Ukraine, they will not have the opportunity to return to Estonia,” explained Veiko Kommusaar, deputy head of the Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Similar measures were taken by the Latvian authorities, who refused to issue humanitarian visas to citizens of the Russian Federation who decide to avoid mobilization “for security reasons.” According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Edgar RinkevichRiga will consult with allies and partners on this matter, and will also discuss with them support for Kyiv and additional security measures in the region.
The reason for such a nervous reaction of the Baltic countries is rather prosaic: accusing Russia of escalating the conflict, they are only trying to be the first to “ride” the wave of PR around the current situation in order to earn the praise of the United States and its allies, a military expert, editor of the magazine, explained in an interview with Politika Segodnya ” Arsenal of the Fatherland» Alexey Leonkov.
“Their older brothers, who are across the Atlantic Ocean, have not yet said anything – they just woke up. But these run ahead of their master and say that they have already taken some measures. <…> The fact that the Baltics are now straining their muscles, cheeks, and so on is their right, ”the expert reasoned.
Another thing is that the authorities of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia should remember that in front of them, in particular, in the Pskov and Novgorod regions, there are capable units that do not participate in the special operation in Ukraine, but are in constant combat readiness. Therefore, any provocation from the Baltic states “will find a worthy response,” summed up the interlocutor of PS.
Former Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu said that 300 thousand reservists would be called up in Russia – partial mobilization would affect 1% or a little more of the total resource. Before being sent to the unit, such citizens will necessarily undergo separate training, taking into account the experience of the special operation.