Wednesday's announcement of the part-mobilization of Russian military reservists by President Vladimir Putin is tantamount to an admission of defeat in his invasion of Ukraine, Estonia's head of state, President Alar Karis, says.
"IN the same way, calling up 300,000 reservists means that Russian military losses in Ukraine have so far been very heavy. This mobilization also shows that in order to continue its policy of warfare against its neighbors, Russia's leadership does not care about the lives of its own citizens, sending more and more units to the battlefield to die, and in so doing, bringing grief to thousands of households," President Karis said Wednesday.
Mobilization also shows that Putin does not want to end the war, but wants to prolong it at any cost, Karis said, noting a grim play on words which has arisen.
"For this reason, the oppressed civil society in Russia has replaced the term 'mobilization' with the word 'mogilization'," the president said. "Mogila" (могила) is the Russian term for grave.
"The tens of thousands of graves in Ukraine and in Russia, resulting from this war of aggression initiated by Putin, will forever be blamed on those who gave the orders for this war, and also its supporters," President Karis continued.
Estonia, democratic Europe and the democratic world will not be fooled by fake referenda going ahead in those Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia, or intimidated by the mobilization, the president added.
"We stand by Ukraine in our support, and our goal is to make the price of aggression so high for the aggressor, that it is forced to cease the war."
Estonia itself is not currently directly threatened by Wednesday's mobilization order, Karis added, although: "The whole world is being threatened by a Russia that, even in the 21st century, is trying to dictate foreign and domestic political choices to its neighbors via the use of violence and aggression, and attacks their territorial integrity through warfare," he said.
The 300,000 figure is the estimate put by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on the part-mobilization ordered Wednesday.
The announcement had been expected Tuesday evening, but came Wednesday morning and follows various military setbacks suffered by Russian forces in recent weeks, including retreats, the loss of territory, and shortages of personnel, ammunition, weaponry, equipment and supplies.
Lithuania's defense minister announced Wednesday that that country's Rapid Reaction Force would be put on high alert following the Kremlin's announcement.
Editor: Andrew Whyte