Putin announces ‘partial mobilization’ and threatens nuclear retaliation

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a “partial mobilization” of troops in an address to the nation, and threatened nuclear retaliation.

He framed the move to call up 300,000 reservists as an attempt to defend Russian sovereignty against the West that he accused of using Ukraine as a tool to “divide and destroy Russia.”

In Russia, Vesna, an anti-war youth movement based in St. Petersburg called on people to protest Wednesday evening in towns across Russia, Russian publication Meduza reported.

His speech included a threatening reference to Russia’s nuclear arsenal: “With a threat to the territorial integrity of our country, to protect Russia and our people, we of course will use all the means at our disposal, this is not a bluff,” the Russian leader said.

His speech comes as Ukraine is on a counteroffensive and as Kremlin-backed officials press ahead with referendums that could result in Russia annexing occupied parts of Ukraine,

 World leaders who are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly have widely condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it a threat to global order and world peace.

A successful Ukrainian counteroffensive has forced a major Russian retreat in the northeastern Kharkiv region in recent days, as troops fled cities and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war, abandoning large quantities of military hardware.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to address the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, after Russia and six other countries voted against it.

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said that a breakdown in global cooperation amid Russia’s war in Ukraine is worsening food insecurity and climate change.


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