Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, September 2022
Sputnik / Reuters

On September 30, following a series of sham referendums held in occupied territory in Ukraine, the Russian government declared that four Ukrainian regions were now officially part of Russia. The annexation came amid a “partial” Russian mobilization that is in fact rapidly becoming a large-scale one and that has left many Russians aghast and anxious. With these moves, the war in Ukraine has entered a new stage in which the stakes have risen drastically.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is explicitly demonstrating that he is going to do whatever it takes to win, even at the risk of undermining his own regime.

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