Ukraine president orders reservists to be drafted

Ukraine on Wednesday began drafting reservists aged 18 to 60 into its armed forces as the country prepares for a possible invasion by Russia.

Those conscripts would serve a maximum period of one year, Reuters noted.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ruled out a general mobilization in addition to announcing that he would introduce the conscription of reservists, according to the news service.

“There is no need for general mobilization today. We need to promptly replenish the Ukrainian army and other military formations,” the president said.

“As the supreme commander in chief of the armed forces of Ukraine, I issued a decree on the conscription of reservists during a special period,” he added.

Zelensky also said that his decisions were to “increase the readiness of the Ukrainian army for all possible changes,” and he criticized countries that have removed their embassies from the country. 

Zelensky’s comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics in eastern Ukraine as independent and ordered troops into Ukraine’s Donbas region earlier this week.  

As a result of Putin’s moves, President Biden announced sanctions on Russian sovereign debt and Russian elites and their family members as well as Russian financial institutions.

“He is setting up a rationale to take more territory by force, in my view,” Biden said of Putin on Tuesday. “This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.” 

“If Russia goes further with this invasion, we stand prepared to go further as with sanctions,” the president added.

Biden also said that he was hopeful a diplomatic solution was still an option; however, the window for such a solution seemed to narrow after Putin’s recent actions.