Moscow's announcement of partial mobilization met with unanimous criticism abroad. Many Western leaders see the Kremlin's decision as a sign of weakness. Kyiv reacts with ridicule.
German government members have sharply criticized the partial mobilization of reservists in Russia. Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees Russia's military failures as the reason for the announcement. A government spokesman said in Berlin that Scholz had taken note of the statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and quoted the Chancellor as saying: "All of this can only be explained against the background of the fact that the Russian attack on Ukraine was unsuccessful is."
Putin's decision to mobilize 300,000 reservists is "a further escalation of this illegal war of aggression against Ukraine," said Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck in Berlin. This is a "bad and wrong step from Russia", the consequences of which will be discussed by the federal government.
FDP leader Christian Lindner described Moscow's decision as a "sign of weakness". "Ukraine is not intimidated by this and neither should we," said the finance minister in Berlin. The partial mobilization shows, however, that we are dealing with a long-lasting conflict. "We have to adapt to this politically and economically. Above all, we have to examine with our allies and partners how we can support Ukraine in the long-term fight for peace and freedom."
Kyiv mocked the Kremlin's decision. The external adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podoliak, asked on Twitter: "Is everything still going according to plan or not?" The war planned for "three days" has already lasted 210 days. The Russians, who demanded Ukraine's annihilation, have now received mobilization, closed borders, blocked accounts and prison sentences for deserters, among other things. "Life has a wonderful sense of humor," concluded Podoljak.
His colleague Oleksiy Arestovych interpreted the Kremlin's move as meaning that the high losses are forcing Russia to take this measure. "There are more than 100,000 killed and wounded, more like 150,000," wrote Arestovych. The next 150,000 have already been mentally written off. "How good it is to be a Russian under Putin," he wrote wryly.
"President Putin's breaking his own promises not to mobilize parts of the population and the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories are admissions that his invasion is failing," British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement. Wallace said Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu "sent tens of thousands of their own citizens to their deaths, ill-equipped and ill-managed." Referring to Putin's mention of nuclear weapons, the minister stressed: "No amount of threat or propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war, the international community is united and Russia is becoming a global pariah."
According to the imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the partial mobilization will lead to a "tragedy". During one of his trials, according to a video distributed by Russian media, he said: "This will lead to a huge tragedy, a huge number of deaths. It is clear that the "criminal war that is currently taking place is getting worse and intensifying, and Putin is trying to involve as many people as possible," Navalny continued.