Sep 25, 2022 - World

Zelensky: Putin's mobilization is admission that Russia is struggling

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech during an event to mark the 1160th anniversary of Russia's statehood in Veliky Novgorod on September 21, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech on Sept. 21. Photo: Ilya Pitalev/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin's mobilization of 300,000 reservists is tantamount to an admission that the country is struggling to continue its war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Driving the news: Putin "has announced the mobilization. It used to be hidden. Now, you see that it has been announced publicly," Zelensky said.

  • "For several months, they've been secretly mobilizing. But now, they admitted that their army is not able to fight with Ukraine anymore. ... They did not expect the resistance that they received from us," Zelensky said.
  • "[Putin] knows that he's losing the war. In the battlefield, Ukraine has seized the initiative," he added.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that, "what you see inside Russia right now, this call-up of troops, the sham referenda that they're trying to run in the occupied territories, these are definitely not signs of strength or confidence."

  • "Quite the opposite: They're signs that Russia and Putin are struggling badly," he added.
  • "It will be the Russian people ultimately who make the determination about how Russia proceeds and the extent to which that there is resistance and pushback to what Vladimir Putin has tried to do."

British Prime Minister Liz Truss also said Sunday that the United Kingdom and its allies should not listen to the Russian president's "saber-rattling and his bogus threats" in reference to the partial military mobilization.

  • "Instead, what we need to do is continue to put sanctions on Russia and continue to support the Ukrainians," Truss said.

The big picture: The referendum votes in separatist territories controlled by Russia could lead to "very tragic moments," Zelensky said on Sunday.

  • "They're forcing people to fight, people from the temporarily occupied territories. A lot of people will be forced to do this," he said.
  • "However, it's a very low percentage of people: even among those who are forced to show up to vote to this sham referendum, we see that there is no support in the society for this referendum."

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