Russian President Putin announces ‘partial mobilization’ and conscription of additional Russian troops, reiterates nuclear threats

A general consensus has formed and multiple recent reports indicate that Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine isn’t going particularly well, and that appears to have compelled Russian President Vladimir Putin to take some rather drastic steps in an effort to alter the current trajectory of his “special military operation.”

In a rare public address on Wednesday, Putin announced a plan regarding the conscription and mobilization of more Russian troops to bolster the ranks fighting in Ukraine and reiterated his threat to resort to the use of nuclear weapons if deemed necessary, Breitbart reported.

He also revealed his support for plans to hold voter referendums in four major Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine — Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia — that, if successful in favor of Russia, would pave the way for them to be fully annexed into the broader Russian Federation.

“Partial mobilization” and conscription of troops announced

In his speech, Russian President Putin decried the “Neo-Nazi” Ukrainian regime based in Kyiv, which he asserted was illegitimate and stemmed from the 2014 “coup” that ousted the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych at that time, and the overwhelming financial and military assistance provided to Kyiv by NATO and the “collective West” that aims to completely “destroy” Russia.

Thus, given that Russia and its allied volunteer forces were “fighting not only against neo-Nazi units but actually the entire military machine of the collective West,” he announced his support for “partial mobilization” of the Russian Federation.

That partial mobilization would involve the conscription of “only military reservists, primarily those who served in the armed forces and have specific military occupational specialties and corresponding experience,” and they would be swiftly trained and granted the same status and benefits as professional Russian troops under contract — status and benefits he also sought to extend to the allied volunteers fighting alongside Russians in the occupied areas of Ukraine.

Putin threatens nuclear response to Western aggression

In addition to the announcement of mobilization, Putin also reiterated his willingness to use nuclear weapons in response to “nuclear blackmail” from the West and if Russian “territorial integrity” were to be violated.

“Washington, London, and Brussels are openly encouraging Kyiv to move the hostilities to our territory,” Putin said. “They openly say that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield by any means, and subsequently deprived of political, economic, cultural and any other sovereignty and ransacked.”

“I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have,” he added. “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.”

First mobilization since WWII, biggest escalation since the invasion began

According to Reuters, this is the first mobilization and conscription of troops in Russia since World War II and the biggest escalation of fighting and threats since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in late February.

Per a subsequent speech by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, this “partial mobilization” would add around 300,000 more troops to Russia’s ranks, though it was noted that those conscripts would be drafted out of an estimated pool of potential fighters that numbered around 25 million.

As for the nuclear threats, those are nothing new from Putin, and Reuters suggested that the announced referendums and likely annexation of the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine — which equal around 15 percent of Ukraine’s territory — would be widely denounced and rejected by Western governments.

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