Putin mobilizes more troops for the war in Ukraine and threatens his enemies

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia on Wednesday as the war in Ukraine reaches nearly seven months and Moscow loses ground on the battlefield. Putin also warned the West that “it is no bluff” that Russia would use all means at its disposal to protect its territory.

The total number of reservists enlisted in the partial mobilization is 300,000, officials said.

Putin said the decision to partially mobilize was “fully suited to the threats we face, namely to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and the peoples in the liberated territories”.

The development came just hours before US President Joe Biden’s address to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.

Biden denounced the “brutal and unnecessary war chosen by one man” as a violation of the UN charter, as well as the “bogus referendums” Russia has planned later in the week to consolidate authority over the Ukrainian territories it controls.

“If nations can pursue their imperialist ambitions without consequences, then we are jeopardizing everything that this institution stands for,” Biden said.

The United States — which has given nearly $16 billion in aid to Ukraine since Biden took office — would be “clear, firm and unwavering in our resolve,” Biden said, to defend democracy. in Ukraine and in the world.

WATCH l Mobilizing, training that many troops “will take a long time”: military expert:

Putin and his regime under ‘enormous pressure’, expert says

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to mobilize more troops for the war in Ukraine suggests the Russians see themselves as “struggling”, said Peter Zwack, a retired US brigadier general.

In a statement to The Associated Press, a spokesman for Ukraine’s president said conscripts sent to the frontline in Ukraine would suffer the same fate as ill-prepared Russian forces that were repelled in an attack on Kyiv in the early days of the invasion.

“It is a recognition of the inability of the professional Russian army, which has failed in all its tasks,” said Sergii Nikoforov. “As you can see, the Russian authorities intend to compensate for this with violence and repression against their own people. The sooner this stops, the fewer Russian sons will go to the front to die.”

The nuclear threat “is not a bluff”

In his speech, Putin accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail” and noted “the statements of some high-ranking representatives of the main NATO states on the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia”.

“To those who allow themselves such statements about Russia, I want to remind that our country also has various means of destruction, and for separate and more modern components than those of NATO countries, and when the integrity our country’s territory is under threat, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all means at our disposal,” Putin said.

He added: “It’s not a bluff.”

WATCH | NATO chief says Russian troops increased due to miscalculation by Putin:

Putin’s troop mobilization was a ‘big mistake’, says NATO chief

Russian President Vladimir Putin miscalculated the difficulty of a quick takeover of Ukraine and is now being forced to mobilize more Russian troops, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

Putin’s new nuclear threats against Europe showed a “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Biden told the UN in New York.

“A nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought,” Biden said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a television interview on Wednesday that conscripts and students will not be mobilized – only those with relevant combat and service experience.

Shoigu said 5,397 Russian troops had been killed in Ukraine so far, the Kremlin’s first casualty update since March. Western estimates of Russian military casualties run into the tens of thousands.

The Kremlin-controlled lower house of parliament voted on Tuesday to toughen laws against desertion, surrender and looting by Russian troops. Lawmakers also voted to introduce possible 10-year prison terms for soldiers refusing to fight. The measures should be approved by the upper house and then signed by Putin.

Zelenskky rejects Russian “noise”

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy was due to address the United Nations General Assembly from Ukraine on Wednesday.

In his Tuesday night address, Zelenskky said there were many questions about Putin’s announcements, but stressed they would not alter Ukraine’s commitment to retake areas occupied by Russian forces.

A Ukrainian serviceman checks a destroyed Russian armored personnel carrier in the town of Izium, recently liberated by the Ukrainian armed forces, on Tuesday. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

“The situation on the front line clearly indicates that the initiative belongs to Ukraine,” he said. “Our positions do not change because of noise or announcements somewhere. And we have the full support of our partners in this regard.”

Ukraine has liberated a number of cities over the past month, thanks in large part to precision weapons and rocket systems supplied by the United States and its allies, including the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System , or HIMARS, and the High Speed ​​Anti-Missile System. Radiation missile or HARM.

On the battlefield, shelling continued around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in the Russian-occupied town of Enerhodar. Ukrainian energy operator Energoatom said Russian bombings again damaged infrastructure at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and briefly forced workers to start two diesel generators for emergency power for the cooling pumps of one of the reactors. .

These pumps are essential to avoid a meltdown in a nuclear facility even if the plant’s six reactors have been shut down. Energoatom said the generators were then shut down when main power was restored.

WATCH | Could Ukraine’s gains push Putin to escalate the war?

Ukraine battlefield losses put pressure on Putin’s war

As Ukraine’s counter-offensive continues, there are fears the war is entering a more dangerous phase as Vladimir Putin desperately seeks to win.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been the focus of concern for months over fears that the bombardment could lead to a radioactive leak. Russia and Ukraine blame each other for bombings

The referendums, which have been due to take place since the first months of the war which began on February 24, will begin on Friday in the regions of Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk, partly controlled by Russia. These votes are almost certain to go Moscow’s way, but have been dismissed as illegitimate by Western leaders who back Kyiv with military and other support that has helped its forces gain momentum on the battlefields at east and south.

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