In a speech on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of partial military conscription, accusing the West of “nuclear blackmail” and attempting to “destroy” Russia.
Vladimir Putin has announced the start of conscription measures in Russia in response to the country’s growing difficulties with the Ukraine war, a move that could represent a significant escalation of Moscow’s already bloody conflict.
While there is widespread misinformation about the ongoing conflict, there appears to be a strong consensus that the invasion is not going as well for Russian forces as the Kremlin might have hoped.
The new Russian conscription measures are most likely intended to increase the number of troops available for the conflict in an attempt to save what Russia has euphemistically referred to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Putin accused the Ukrainian government of committing “genocide” in the Donbas against people “who refused to recognise the government that was created in Ukraine” as a result of a Western-backed “state coup” in 2014.
Putin also claimed that Ukrainian officials were sympathetic to Moscow’s interests in securing the Donbas and Crimea following early peace talks, but that such talks were ultimately sabotaged by Western leaders, who Putin claimed urged Ukraine to continue fighting the conflict.
“In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line,” Putin said. “In Washington, London, Brussels, they are directly pushing Kyiv to transfer military operations to our territory. No longer hiding, they say that Russia should be defeated by all means on the battlefield, followed by the deprivation of political, economic, cultural, in general, any sovereignty, with the complete plunder of our country.”
Putin also accused the West of threatening Russia with “nuclear blackmail,” saying his country would defend itself by any means necessary. Putin reiterated the use of nuclear weapons if Russia’s “territorial integrity” was threatened.
“I would like to remind those who make such statements about Russia that our country has a variety of weapons, some of which are more modern than the weapons used by NATO countries,” he said.
“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,” Putin added, before warning that the threat of retaliation was “not a bluff.”