President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered partial mobilization in Russia, in an escalation of what Moscow calls its military operation in pro-Western Ukraine.

While speaking in a televised address Putin noted that it is necessary to support the proposal of the Defence Ministry and of the General Staff to conduct partial mobilization in the Russian Federation.

Putin added that a relevant decree has already been signed and will come into force on Wednesday.

According to Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu “300,000 reservists will be called up” or “just over one percent” of the number of people who can be mobilised in the country.

He added that the line of contact in Ukraine is over 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) long and the “primary” goal of mobilization is to help “secure” territories behind and on the frontline.

Putin also noted that Russia will use all available means to protect its territory, accusing the West of seeking to “weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country”.