Vladimir Putin, in a televised address on Wednesday morning, announced a partial mobilisation of the Russian population, as Russian forces battle a Ukrainian counter-offensive that has regained some occupied territory. The mobilisation is to include military reservists and people who have previous military experience.

 

Reacting to the news, Pawel Szrot, Secretary of State and Chief of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Poland told PAP that Russia had been calling up more people to serve for some time without admitting to it.

 

"Actually, this is nothing new, this is a confirmation of what has been going on in Russia for months," he said. "So, this progressive and hidden mobilisation is now taking a formal shape."

 

According to him "this does not mean immediately supplying the Russian Army with thousands of new trained and armed soldiers."

 

"This is only the beginning of this process, and its completion will be very difficult for a country that is at war and has great problems with supplies and training new soldiers."

 

Asked how Putin's decision might affect the Ukrainian counter-offensive, he replied that "certainly not now, not in the short term."

 

Commenting on Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons against the West in case of an "attack on Russia's territorial integrity" Szrot replied that "this is not the first time."

 

"I think that this threat will be repeated regularly by the Russian leadership and by the regime's propagandists. It should be approached absolutely calmly and with a level head," Szrot said.