Putin’s first address to nation since invasion ‘delayed’ – with leader set to announce escalation of war amid ‘chaos’ in Kremlin
A respected thinktank has described “panic” in the Kremlin over the situation in Luhansk and Donetsk; Russia is to hold referendums in occupied areas across Ukraine; and a new law in Moscow has mentioned mobilisation and martial law – suggesting Vladimir Putin could impose conscription.
Putin’s address to nation delayed until tomorrow, president’s former advisor says
Sergei Markov, a Russian political scientist who is a former close advisor to Vladimir Putin, says the president’s national address has been delayed until tomorrow.
He announced the news on his official Telegram channel.
This would appear to have been confirmed by a statement posted by the editor of Russian state media news outlet RT, Margarita Simonyan, who simply wrote “go to sleep” on Telegram.
We’ll bring you more on this as we get it.
Is Russia laying the foundations for a full scale war?
“Events today have been pretty dramatic, even if President Putin does not speak,” says Sky’s Moscow correspondent Diana Magnay.
The Russian leader was widely rumoured to be addressing the nation at 6pm tonight – but two hours later there is no clear insight into what has caused the delay.
But it is not the only event of significance to have taken place today.
“We’ve had discussions in the State Duma about expanding the Criminal Code in situations of martial law, wartime or mobilisation.
“Now, all of those words have been avoided so far in this special military operation and the Kremlin has consistently denied that it will even consider mobilising the country’s young men, but suddenly the state parliament is talking about what to do in exactly that scenario and it would seem to be laying a legal framework should the Kremlin decide on martial mobilisation or actually declaring this a full-scale war.”