putin can declare war on Ukraine and call for mobilization, western officials say

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The president of russia vladimir putin could formally declare war on Ukraine as soon as May 9, which would allow for the full mobilization of country’s reserve forces , edition.cnn.com reports, citing western officials.

putin would leverage the symbolic significance and propaganda value of “Victory Day” on May 9 to announce either a military achievement in Ukraine, a major escalation of hostilities – or both.

Officials have started to hone in on one scenario, which is that putin formally declares war on Ukraine on May 9.

British Defense Secretary Ben said last week that the presiden of russia “is probably going to declare on this May Day that ‘we are now at war with the world’s Nazis and we need to mass mobilize the russian people.’”

Other options for May 9 include annexing the breakaway territories of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, making a major push for Odesa in the south, or declaring full control over the southern port city of Mariupol.

The U.S. has “highly credible” intelligence reports that russia will try to annex Luhansk and Donetsk “some time in mid-May,” the U.S.

Ambassador to OSCE Michael Carpenter said on Monday. There are also indications that kremlin could be planning to declare and annex a “people’s republic” in the southeastern city of Kherson.

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