Russia President Vladimir Putin is set to address the public late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning at 1 a.m. EST, 8 a.m. Moscow (MSK) time. The speech was originally supposed to take place Tuesday afternoon approximately 1 p.m.-2 p.m. EST, but it was delayed with no explanation given.
What Happened: The last time Putin addressed the country was on Feb. 24, when he announced the invasion of Ukraine. While it isn’t exactly clear the nature of this speech, some are worried that Putin will announce further mobilizations against Ukraine.
Kamil Galeev, an independent Russian researcher and journalist, shared this thread on Twitter: “Regarding mobilisation, Putin can declare it, indeed. But it will be a risky decision. The USSR maintained a massive infrastructure for the total mobilisation which has been mostly dismantled in post-Soviet Russia. Mobilisation is more likely to trigger political chaos.”
Why It Matters: According to Forbes Russia, the address is a pre-recorded message, just like Putin’s speech in February.
The Kremlin announced it would be holding referendums in four distinct areas of Ukraine that Russian troops are occupying.
In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, a peninsula that was under Ukrainian control. While there was technically a vote and the citizens of Crimea voted to join Russia, many experts did not see the vote as legitimate because Russia had a vast military presence in the area, much like the four areas that will be voting on the referendums soon.
Some experts, according to the New York Times, see this move by Putin as retaliation after Russian troops were forced to flee the northeastern region of Ukraine in Kharkiv. Regardless, Putin’s speech will have major implications for millions of people around the world.
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