Putin signs decree on partial mobilization in Russia

In this Feb 21, 2022 photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin signs documents, including a decree recognizing two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent, during a ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow. Putin signed a decree on the partial mobilization in Russia, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues. (ALEXEY NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP)

MOSCOW/RIYADH/KYIV – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on the partial mobilization in Russia, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, which the president said is necessary to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

According to the decree, the partial mobilization in the Russian Federation was set to begin the same day.

"… To protect our motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and people in the liberated territories, I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the defense ministry and the general staff on the conduct of partial mobilization in the Russian Federation," Putin said.

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"… Citizens of the Russian Federation called up for military service by mobilization have the status of military personnel serving in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation under a contract," reads the decree.

According to the president, only citizens in military reserve will be subject to prescription, and they will undergo additional training.

10 freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

Saudi Arabia has mediated the release of 10 foreigners who were caught fighting for Ukraine during its conflict with Russia, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday quoting the country's foreign ministry.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Press Office, Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, second left, talks with Azov regiment commander Denys Prokopenko, second right, who was released in a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, in Chernyhiv, Ukraine, on Sept 21, 2022. (UKRAINIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY PRESS OFFICE VIA AP)

The move came as part of a prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine and in line with the humanitarian commitment of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, SPA reported.

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The 10 prisoners are Moroccan, Swedish, Croatian, British and US nationals, whom the kingdom received from Russia, according to the ministry.

Saudi Arabia is facilitating procedures for their safe return to their countries, it added.

Russia attacks Ukraine command post

The Russian defense ministry said earlier on Monday that the country's aerospace forces, missile troops and artillery units have attacked seven command posts of the Ukrainian armed forces over the past day.

The Russian army destroyed 52 artillery detachments, as well as Ukrainian forces and military technical equipment in 134 districts, the ministry said.

In addition, Russia's aerospace forces struck Ukrainian production workshops at the Iskra military plant in the city of Zaporizhzhia, which provided services for the US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launcher system.

NPP in Mykolaiv comes under ‘Russian attack’

Ukraine's state-run nuclear energy operator Energoatom on Monday accused Russian forces of shelling the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant (NPP) in Ukraine's southern Mykolaiv region.

"At night, a missile fell 300 meters from the Pivdennoukrainsk NPP. There was a short-term power outage," Energoatom said on Telegram.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the Deputy Head of Ukraine's Presidential Office, said that three power lines were disconnected by the shelling.

Shelling continues in Energodar

Russia’s defense ministry said on Wednesday that the Ukrainian side continued to shell the city of Energodar and the area around the Zaporozhzhia nuclear power plant. The shelling damaged a pipe in the technical water supply system of the fifth power plant, and hit the power supply line of it.

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Ukrainian firepower was suppressed by Russian artillery, ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, adding that the radiation levels at the nuclear facility remained normal.

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