Vladimir Putin says he is not bluffing as he issued a chilling new threat to use nuclear weapons against the West and allies of Ukraine. Putin also announced a partial military mobilization in a televised address to his nation Wednesday.
The mobilization of 300,000 military reserves is a first in Russia since the Second World War. He also approved of referendums to be held in occupied areas of Ukraine that would make them a part of Russia, effectively annexing currently held territories.
Putin accused the West of nuclear blackmail, blaming Ukraine and its allies for the bombardments near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Putin also accused leading NATO countries of suggesting that nuclear weapons could be used against Russia.
“I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and … to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” Putin said. “It’s not a bluff.”
He vowed to use ‘all means’ to defend the regions, saying: ‘If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect Russia and our people – this is not a bluff… I shall stress – by all means available to us. Those trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the tables can turn on them.’