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This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin called up 300,000 reservists in a partial mobilization for the war in Ukraine. That sparked protests in several cities in Russia, and a flood of people trying to leave the country. This is happening just before referendums are set to take place in four regions of Ukraine currently occupied by Russia – and many suspect Putin will use the referendums to claim the regions as Russian territory and further escalate the war.

The Globe’s senior foreign correspondent Mark MacKinnon is back on The Decibel to explain what is happening in Russia right now, what the repercussions of Putin’s escalation might be, and what it means for the broader conflict.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email us at thedecibel@globeandmail.com