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Ukraine invasion: What does Putin's partial mobilisation order mean and what effect could it have on the war?

Sky News looks at what the announcement means, what effect it could have on the war and how it has been received by the Russian people.

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Putin announces partial conscription
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President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial mobilisation in Russia in what appeared to be an admission Moscow's war in Ukraine is not going to plan after nearly seven months of fighting.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia will draft 300,000 reservists to support its military campaign, which he said had claimed the lives of 5,397 Russian soldiers.

It is Russia's first mobilisation since the Second World War, with Mr Putin saying the additional manpower was needed to win a war not only against Ukraine but also its Western backers.

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Here, Sky News looks at what the announcement means, what effect it could have on the war and how it has been received by the Russian people.

What is part mobilisation?

According to the decree published on the Kremlin's website, the call-up will only apply to reservists with previous military experience.

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Mr Shoigu said this meant around 300,000 men would be available.

He said only those with relevant combat and service experience will be mobilised, adding that there are around 25 million people who fit the criteria but only around 1% of them will be mobilised.

They would be given more training before being deployed to Ukraine, he added, and would not include students or people who had only served as conscripts.

Image:Ukrainian soldiers push back against Russian forces

Why is Russia ordering partial mobilisation?

Although the defence minister claimed that 5,397 Russian soldiers have been killed since the invasion, the US Pentagon said in August it believed between 70-000 and 80,000 Russian personnel had been wounded. In July it estimated Russia's death toll was around 15,000.

Mr Shoigu dismissed claims from Kyiv and the West that Russia has suffered heavy losses, saying 90% of wounded Russian soldiers had returned to the front line.

He said the mobilisation would help Russia "consolidate" territories it holds behind the front line in Ukraine.

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The announcement came a day after Russian-controlled regions in the east and south of the country said that they would hold votes on becoming integral parts of Russia.

If the Kremlin was able to swallow up the four regions of Ukraine, then Moscow could escalate the war to counter recent Ukrainian successes on the battlefield.

Image:Ukrainian servicemen repair a Russian tank captured during a counteroffensive operation in the Kharkiv region,

What does it mean for the war?

It suggests Russia is gearing up for a long conflict.

Mr Putin said the move to partially mobilise was "fully adequate to the threats we face, namely to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and people in the liberated territories."

In Britain the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that Mr Putin's announcement was "an admission that his invasion is failing". "He and his defence minister have sent tens of thousands of their own citizens to their deaths, ill-equipped and badly led. No amount of threats and propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war, the international community are united and Russia is becoming a global pariah."

In his nightly address, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there were many questions surrounding the announcements but stressed they would not change Kyiv's commitment to retake areas occupied by Russian forces.

"The situation on the front line clearly indicates that the initiative belongs to Ukraine," he said. "Our positions do not change because of the noise or any announcements somewhere. And we enjoy the full support of our partners in this."

The mobilisation is unlikely to have an impact on the battlefield for months because of a lack of training facilities and equipment.

Image:Ukrainian servicemen ride a tank along a main road in the town of Izium, recently liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces

How has the announcement been received in Russia?

Shortly after the address Russian media reported a big rise in demand for flights out of the country, despite the very high price of tickets.

Dmitry Oreshkin, a Russian political analyst, said that the announcement smacked of "an act of desperation". He predicted Russians will resist the mobilisation through "passive sabotage".

"People will evade this mobilization in every possible way, bribe their way out of this mobilization, leave the country," Mr Oreshkin told the Associated Press. He said the announcement will not go down well with the public and described it as "a huge personal blow to Russian citizens, who until recently (took part in the hostilities) with pleasure, sitting on their couches, (watching) TV. And now the war has come into their home."

The Vesna opposition movement called for nationwide protests on Wednesday. It said: "Thousands of Russian men - our fathers, brothers and husbands - will be thrown into the meat grinder of the war. What will they be dying for? What will mothers and children be crying for?"

It was unclear how many would dare to protest in the face of Russia's suppression of opposition and its harsh laws against discrediting soldiers and what it calls a "special military operation".

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Retired Air Vice-Marshal Sean Bell looks at the situation in Ukraine

Could it lead to a full mobilisation?

A full mobilisation is unlikely.

It would be unpopular in Russia and could do more damage to Mr Putin's reputation after Moscow's recent military setbacks.