Putin expands Ukraine war effort, issues nuclear threat to West

  • Putin announces partial mobilization
  • Warning to the West on ‘Nuclear Blackmail’
  • Said- Russia will use all means to defend itself
  • It’s not a hoax: Putin
  • Russia is moving towards annexing Ukraine’s territory

LONDON, Sep 21 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia’s first mobilization since World War II and backed plans for swathes of Ukraine, warning the West that he was not bluffing when he said that he would be ready to use nuclear weapons. To defend Russia.

In the biggest escalation of the Ukraine war since the February 24 invasion of Moscow, Putin apparently raised the specter of a nuclear conflict, approving a plan to annex a portion of territory the size of Hungary from Ukraine, and 300,000 called reservoirs.

“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will undoubtedly use all available means to protect Russia and our people – this is not a hoax,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation.

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Putin said without providing detailed evidence that the West was plotting to destroy Russia, was involved in “nuclear blackmail” by allegedly discussing the possible use of nuclear weapons against Moscow, and that the United States, the European Union and Accused Britain of encouraging Ukraine. Carry out military operations in Russia itself.

“In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every limit,” Putin said. “It’s not a hoax. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that WeatherVen can change and point to them.”

The address, which followed a key Russian battlefield defeat in northeastern Ukraine during the war, fueled speculation about his future for the 69-year-old Kremlin chief, and showed Putin was doubling down on his “special military operation”. Were were in Ukraine.

In short, Putin is betting that by increasing the risk of a direct confrontation between the US-led NATO military alliance and Russia – a move toward World War III – the West will wink at its support for Ukraine, something it has not shown. There is a hint to do so far.

Putin’s war in Ukraine has killed thousands, sparked a wave of inflation through the global economy and triggered the worst confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when many fought nuclear war. was suspected.

mobilization

Putin signed a decree on a partial mobilization of Russia’s reserves, arguing that Russian troops were effectively countering the full force of the West’s “military machine” in Ukraine.

Speaking shortly after Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia would draft about 300,000 additional personnel out of the roughly 25 million potential fighters at Moscow’s disposal.

Mobilization begins immediately, for the first time since the Soviet Union fought Nazi Germany in World War II.

Such a move is risky for Putin, who has so far tried to maintain a semblance of peace in the capital and other major cities, where support for the war is lower than in provinces.

Ever since the nuclear briefcase was handed over to Putin by Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, his major priority has been to restore at least some of the great power status that Moscow lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Putin has repeatedly raided the United States for promoting NATO’s eastward expansion, particularly with former Soviet republics such as Ukraine and Georgia, which Russia regards as part of its sphere of influence.

Putin said that top government officials of several unnamed “leading” NATO countries had talked about potentially using nuclear weapons against Russia.

He also alleged that the West risked “nuclear catastrophe” by allowing Ukraine to open the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control, something Kyiv has denied.

Abduction of state

Putin gave his clear support for a referendum that would be held in the coming days in areas of Ukraine controlled by Russian troops – the first step for a formal annexation of a part of Ukraine the size of Hungary.

The self-declared Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), which Putin recognized as independent just before the invasion, and Russian-founded officials in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions have sought votes.

“We will support the decision on his future, which will be made by the majority of residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson,” Putin said.

“We have no moral right to hand over those close to us to the executioners; we cannot respond to their sincere desire to determine our fate.”

This paved the way for the formal annexation of about 15% of Ukrainian territory.

The West and Ukraine have called the referendum plan an illegal sham and vowed never to accept its results. French President Emmanuel Macron said the plans were “a parody”.

But by formally annexing Ukrainian territories, Putin is giving himself a potential excuse to use nuclear weapons from Russia’s vast arsenal, which has more weapons than the United States.

Russia’s nuclear doctrine allows the use of such weapons if weapons of mass destruction are used against it or if the Russian state faces an existential threat from conventional weapons.

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Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Andrew Osborne

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principals.

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