Full text of Russian President Putin’s address on mobilisation

My address today is in relation to the situation in Donbas and the course of the special military operation to liberate it from the neo-Nazi regime that seized power in Ukraine in 2014 as a result of an armed coup.

Today I appeal to you, to all citizens of our country, to people of different generations, ages and nationalities, to the people of our great Motherland, to all who are united by great historical Russia, to the soldiers and officers, volunteers who are now fighting on the front lines, are on the combat post, to our brothers and sisters – residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, and other areas liberated from the neo-Nazi regime.

It will be about the necessary, urgent steps to protect the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia, about supporting the desire and will of our compatriots to determine their own future and about the aggressive policy of part of the Western elites, who are striving with all their might to maintain their dominance, and for this they are trying to block, to suppress any sovereign independent centers of development in order to continue to crudely impose their will on other countries and peoples, to plant their pseudo-values.

The goal of the West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country. They are saying openly now that in 1991 they were able to split the Soviet Union, and now the time has come for Russia itself, that it should break up into many mortally hostile regions and areas.

And they have been devising such plans for a long time. They encouraged international terrorist gangs in the Caucasus, promoted the offensive infrastructure of NATO close to our borders. They have weaponised  total-Russophobia, including for decades purposefully nurturing hatred for Russia, primarily in Ukraine which they have been preparing to become an anti-Russian foothold, and the Ukrainian people themselves were turned into cannon fodder and pushed to war with our country, unleashing this war back in 2014, using the armed forces against the civilian population, organizing genocide, blockade, terror against people who refused to recognize the power that arose in Ukraine as a result of a coup.

And after the current Kyiv regime actually publicly refused a peaceful solution to the Donbass problem and, moreover, announced its ambition to acquire nuclear weapons, it became absolutely clear that a new, yet another, as it had happened twice before, large-scale attack on the Donbass was inevitable. . And then, just as inevitably, it would be followed by an attack on the Russian Crimea, which is, – on Russia.

In this regard, the decision on a pre-emptive military operation was absolutely necessary and was the only possible option. Its main goal – liberating the whole of Donbass – was and remain unchanged.

The Lugansk People’s Republic has already been almost completely cleared of neo-Nazis. Fighting in the Donetsk People’s Republic continues. Here, for eight years, the Kyiv occupation regime created a deeply echeloned line of long-term fortifications. Their head-on assault would have resulted in heavy losses, so our units, as well as the military units of the Donbass republics, act systematically, competently, using military equipment and saving personnel, and proceeding step by step to liberate Donetsk, clear cities and towns from neo-Nazis, provide assistance to people whom the Kyiv regime turned into hostages and into human shields.

As you know, professional servicemen serving under contract take part in the special military operation. Fighting side by side with them are volunteer units – people of different ethnicities, professions and ages who are real patriots. They answered the call of their hearts to rise up in defence of Russia and Donbass.

In this regard, I have already given instructions to the Government and the Ministry of Defense to determine, in full and in the shortest possible time, the legal status of volunteers, as well as fighters of the units of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. It should be the same as that of regular servicemen of the Russian army, including material, medical support, and social guarantees. Particular attention should be paid to organizing the supply of volunteer formations and detachments of the people’s militia of Donbass with military and other equipment.

In the course of solving the main tasks of protecting Donbass, our troops, in accordance with the plans and decisions of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff, liberated from neo-Nazis significant areas of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, and a number of other regions. As a result, an extended line of combat contact was formed, which is over a thousand kilometers.

This is what I can make public for the first time today.

After the start of this special military operation, in particular after the talks in Istanbul, the representatives of Kyiv reacted very positively to our proposals, and these proposals primarily concerned above all ensuring Russia’s security and our interests. However, it is obvious that the peaceful solution did not suit the West, therefore, after certain compromises were coordinated, Kyiv was actually given a direct order to wreck all agreements.

Ukraine began to be pumped up with weapons even more. The Kyiv regime has brought into play new gangs of foreign mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained to NATO standards and run under the de facto command of Western advisers.

At the same time, the regime of repression throughout Ukraine against its own citizens, established immediately after the armed coup of 2014, was strengthened in the most severe way. The policy of intimidation, terror and violence is assuming more and more mass, terrible, barbaric forms.

I want to emphasize that we know that the majority of people living in the territories liberated from neo-Nazis, and these are, first of all, the historical lands of Novorossia, do not want to be under the yoke of the neo-Nazi regime. In Zaporozhye, in the Kherson region, in Lugansk and Donetsk, they have seen and are seeing the atrocities that neo-Nazis are doing in the occupied areas of the Kharkov region. The descendants of Bandera and Nazi punishers kill people, torture them, throw them in prison, settle scores, crack down on, torment civilians.

More than seven and a half million people lived in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions before the outbreak of hostilities. Many of them were forced to become refugees, to leave their homes. And those who remained – about five million people – today are subjected to constant artillery and rocket fire by neo-Nazi militants. They hit hospitals and schools, carry out terrorist attacks against civilians.

We cannot, we have no moral right to allow people close to us to be torn to pieces by executioners, we cannot but respond to their sincere desire to determine their own destiny. The parliaments of the people’s republics of Donbass, as well as the military-civilian administrations of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, have decided to hold referendums on the future of these territories and they have turned to us, Russia, with a request to support them.

Let me emphasize that we will do everything to ensure safe conditions for holding referendums, so that people can express their will. And we will support the decision about their future, which will be made by the majority of residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.

Dear friends!

Today, our Armed Forces, as I have already said, are operating on the line of contact lying over one thousand kilometers, they are fighting against not only neo-Nazi formations, but in fact the entire military machine of the collective West.

In this situation, I consider it necessary to make the following decision – which is fully adequate to the threats we face – namely: to protect our Motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and peoples of the liberated territories, I deem it necessary to support the proposal by the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff on partial mobilization in the Russian Federation.

I repeat, we are talking specifically 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 .

Those called up for active duty before being sent to units will undergo additional military training appropriate for their experience in the special military operation.

I have already signed a decree on partial mobilisation.

In accordance with the law, the chambers of the Federal Assembly – the Federation Council and the State Duma – will be officially notified about this in writing today.

Mobilization is effective from today – 21 September. I instruct the heads of regions to provide all necessary assistance to facilitate  the work of military commissariats.

I would like to emphasize that Russian citizens called up for military service by mobilization will receive the status, payments and all social guarantees of military personnel serving under a contract.

I will add that my Decree on Partial Mobilization also provides for additional measures to fulfill the state defense order. The heads of defense industry enterprises are directly responsible for solving the tasks in relation to increasing the production of weapons and military equipment, and deploying additional production capacities. At the same time, all issues of material, resource and financial support for defense enterprises must be resolved by the Government without any delay.

Dear friends!

In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line. We constantly hear threats against our country, our people. Some irresponsible politicians in the West  are doing more than just speak about organizing the supply of long-range offensive weapons to Ukraine – systems that will allow strikes against the Crimea and other regions of Russia.

Such terrorist strikes, including with the use of Western weapons, are already being carried out on the border settlements of the Belgorod and Kursk regions. In real time, using modern systems, aircraft, ships, satellites, strategic drones, NATO is carrying out reconnaissance throughout southern Russia.

Washington, London, Brussels are directly pushing Kyiv to transfer military operations to our territory. No longer hiding, they say that Russia should be defeated by all means on the battlefield, followed by the deprivation of political, economic, cultural, in general, any sovereignty, with the complete plunder of our country.

They have even resorted to the nuclear blackmail. We are talking not only about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is encouraged by the West, which threatens a nuclear catastrophe, but also about the statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO member-states about the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons against Russia.

To those who allow themselves to make such statements about Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has many different types of these weapons, and in some aspects  even more modern than those of the NATO countries. And when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff.

The citizens of Russia can be sure that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be ensured, I emphasize this again, with all the means at our disposal. And those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind rose can also turn in their direction.

It is our historical tradition, the destiny of our people to stop those who strive for world domination, who threaten with the dismemberment and enslavement of our Motherland, our Fatherland. Rest assured that we will do it this time around as well.

I believe in your support.