Ukraine war: Putin announces ‘partial’ military mobilisation in Russia

Vladimir Putin today issued a chilling threat to use nuclear weapons against the West over Ukraine, warning world leaders: ‘I’m not bluffing’. 

The desperate despot made the threat in an address to the Russian nation in which he also announced the partial mobilisation of his military reserves and referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine to make them part of Russia itself.

Putin then added: ‘If there is a threat to the territorial integrity of our country, and in protecting our people we will certainly use all means to us – and I’m not bluffing. 

‘Those trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the tables can turn on them.’

Western leaders – who are gathered at a UN summit in New York – have already said they will not recognise the results the referendums, and Ukraine has vowed that it will continue fighting to liberate its occupied territories.  

Putin has been under pressure from allies, propagandists and hardliners alike to escalate his war after the Russian military suffered a humiliating rout near Kharkiv last week, prompting calls for him to resign.

Vladimir Putin has today threatened to nuke the West over Ukraine, as he announced plans to annex occupied parts of its territory to the Russian mainland

Putin vowed that he will use 'all available means' to defend what he sees as Russian territory, adding: 'I'm not bluffing' (pictured, a Russian nuclear test)

 Putin vowed that he will use ‘all available means’ to defend what he sees as Russian territory, adding: ‘I’m not bluffing’ (pictured, a Russian nuclear test)

Backed into a corner and faced with the possible collapse of his so-called ‘special military operation’, Putin lashed out at the free world in a pre-recorded address.

The speech was delayed for 13 hours overnight that sparked rumours of a coup inside the Kremlin. But the Russian leader finally appeared in the early hours of Wednesday – very much alive and in charge – to deliver his latest threats. 

The speech was typically Putin. In it, he attempted to rewrite history to paint the West and NATO as the aggressor – saying they had pushed Ukraine into a war with Russia, despite ordering an invasion of the country himself just seven months ago.

Russia, he argued, had no choice but to launch a ‘pre-emptive war’ to ‘protect’ the people of Ukraine – despite plentiful evidence of Russian massacres of civilians, torture, indiscriminate shelling and other atrocities on the battlefield.

Moscow’s aim, he insisted, remains the full liberation of the Donbass region and its people who he said had been made into ‘hostages of the Kyiv regime’.

In order to ensure victory, he announced that Russia’s military reserves and veterans will start being conscripted into the army from today.

Referendums will also be held in Donetsk and Luhansk – which together make up the Donbas – as well as Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which are also occupied by Russia. 

He then added: ‘Our country also has various means of defence, and in some components more advanced than those of NATO countries.

‘When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all the means at our disposal to defend Russia and our people, this is not a bluff.

‘Russian citizens can be sure that the territorial integrity of our homeland, our independence and our freedom will be secured by all the means at our disposal.

‘Those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the winds may blow in their direction.’

He warned: ‘This is not a bluff.’

He claimed he was responding to threats from unnamed high NATO officials ‘about the possibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia’.

Putin made clear that by Russian territory he means invaded areas of Ukraine where he is holding sham referendums in the coming days on joining the Kremlin empire.

‘I find it necessary to take the following decision,’ he told Russians in a pre-recorded message.

‘It is completely adequate to the level of threats we are facing, namely – To protect our Motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

‘To ensure safety of our people, and people at the liberated territories.

‘I find it necessary to support the suggestion of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff about declaring partial mobilisation in Russia.

‘I repeat: We are speaking about partial mobilisation.

‘So it would only be current reservists, called to join the military service.

‘First of all it would be those who served in the army, have relevant army specialty and experience .

‘Those called to join the army will go through mandatory military training.’

Putin said that ‘only citizens who are currently in the reserve and above all those who have served in the Armed Forces, have certain military professions and relevant experience, will be called up for military service.

‘Those called up for military service will undergo additional military training before being dispatched to their units, taking into account the experience of a special military operation.’