Russia’s president has ordered the country’s first mobilisation since World War II, warning the West that if it continues what he called its “nuclear blackmail” Moscow will respond with the might of all its vast arsenal.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we use all available means to protect our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation, adding Russia had “lots of weapons to reply”.
Russia’s defence minister said the partial mobilisation will see 300,000 reservists called and up would apply to those with previous military experience.
The move significantly escalates the conflict over Ukraine and comes as Russia battles a Ukrainian counteroffensive that has forced its troops to retreat and surrender some occupied territory.
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