Putin’s mobilisation decree ‘an admission he’s losing the war’, says former Defence Secretary

The Russian President announced a ‘partial mobilisation’ on Wednesday that will see 300,000 Russian reservists called up in a significant escalation of Russia's war in Ukraine

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A former Defence Secretary has told GB News that Vladimir Putin’s decree to mobilise more troops for Ukraine is “an admission he’s losing the war.”

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two, warning the West that if it continued what he called its "nuclear blackmail" that Moscow would respond with the might of all its vast arsenal.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind told GB News that Putin's decision to mobilise troops is "an admission he's losing the war" in Ukraine
Sir Malcolm Rifkind told GB News that Putin's decision to mobilise troops is "an admission he's losing the war" in Ukraine

"If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect our people - this is not a bluff," Putin said in a televised address to the nation, adding Russia had "lots of weapons to reply".

Russia's defence minister said the partial mobilisation will see 300,000 reserves called and up would apply to those with previous military experience.

Putin's partial mobilisation significantly escalates the conflict over Ukraine and comes as Russia battles a Ukrainian counter-offensive that has forced its troops to retreat and surrender some occupied territory.

Putin said the partial military mobilisation of its two million-strong military reserves was to defend Russia and its territories, claiming the West did not want peace in Ukraine.

Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, Sir Malcolm Rifkind described the decision as “another humiliation for President Putin.”

“First of all, to have any mobilisation is an admission that he’s losing the war, that he hasn’t got adequate troops, and also that he has not been able to persuade people to join the forces.

“What we’ve seen is a complete disaster from the moment the war began.”

Earlier, Robert Fox, Defence Editor at the Evening Standard, told GB News that Putin's comments were "a last gasp"

"It's a gambler's throw, and it's a desperate throw, because he's announced a partial - whatever a partial - national mobilisation of forces, and that other line "we're going to liberate Donbas." What have they been trying to do?"