Lithuanian Rapid Reaction Force on high alert amid mobilization in Russia, says defense minister

21 September, 05:49 PM
Lithuanian Rapid Response Force on high alert amid mobilization in Russia (Photo:Lietuvos Respublikos Krašto apsaugos ministerija/Facebook)

Lithuanian Rapid Response Force on high alert amid mobilization in Russia (Photo:Lietuvos Respublikos Krašto apsaugos ministerija/Facebook)

The Lithuanian Rapid Reaction Force has been put on high alert amid the recently announced mobilization in Russia, Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas announced on Twitter on Sept. 21.

According to him, since Russia's military mobilization will also be conducted near the borders of Lithuania, the country's military emergency unit should be prepared for any contingencies.

Anušauskas said that in this way Lithuania aimed to prevent any provocations by the Kremlin.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin early on Sept. 21 declared a partial mobilization in Russia and his readiness to use nuclear weapons in the event of a “threat to the territorial integrity” of Russia.

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that 300,000 reservists would be called up during the partial mobilization.

Earlier, Kremlin-controlled authorities on the territory of the occupied Donbas announced the dates of sham referendums on accession to Russia. Representatives of militants in the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts stated that the sham voting would take place Sept. 23-27.

Kremlin-installed officials in Kherson and Zaporizhzhya oblasts also announced plans to also hold “referendums” on “joining” Russia on the same dates.

The statements were made shortly after a rapid counteroffensive by the defenders of Ukraine: on Sept. 14, the Ministry of Defense reported that since Sept. 6 (in the space of one week), the Armed Forces had liberated 388 settlements and about 8,500 square kilometers in Kharkiv Oblast alone.

Russia appears to be trying to intimidate Ukrainians with threats of harsh responses if it tries to liberate any of the territory seized by Russia. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that any strikes against Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory will be regarded as attacks on Russia itself, after which he said there would be a “tough response.”

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak said Russia's blackmail regarding the holding of sham referendums in the temporarily occupied territories was the product of “the fear of defeat.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in other comments said that none of the pseudo-referendums that Russia is trying to organize in the occupied territories would help its position.

Earlier, on Sept. 20, the Russian State Duma, the Kremlin’s rubber-stamp parliament, rushed through votes introducing the concepts of “mobilization,” “martial law,” and “armed conflict” into Russia’s Criminal Code.

Now in Russia, desertion, absence from service and voluntary surrender will be punished more severely.

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