President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin announced the country's first mobilization since the Second World War. In this context, Putin warned that if Moscow faced a nuclear threat from the West, it would defend itself with the strength of its enormous arsenal.
The Russian leader, whose country has more nuclear warheads than even the United States, points out that the war has escalated since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24. As part of the mobilization, 300.000 reserve soldiers were called into the army.
“We will use all available means to protect Russia and our people”
Addressing the Russian people on television, Putin said, “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 bluff.” said.
After accusing the West of "nuclear blackmail", he said senior government officials in several unnamed "leading" NATO countries had talked about potentially using nuclear weapons against Russia. Additionally, Putin accused the West of putting Kiev at risk of "nuclear catastrophe" by allowing Ukraine to bomb the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Referendums will be held in parts of Ukraine controlled by Russian troops (the first step in the official annexation of a Hungarian-sized piece of Ukraine) in the coming days. According to Reuters, Putin has announced that he will support the upcoming referendums. The war, which triggered the worst confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, killed tens of thousands and sent an inflationary wave that crashed the global economy.
“In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line. Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind can change their direction.”
used his statements. 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.
300 thousand people will be recruited into the army
Putin also said he signed a decree on partial mobilization. The mobilization begins immediately, which affects everyone who has served as a professional soldier in Russia instead of conscription. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said he expects 25 people to be called from the country's vast reserves of about 300 million.