Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced an immediate “partial” military mobilization against Ukraine and said Moscow would respond with “all available means” if threatened.
“The purpose of this West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country,” he said in a video message, as translated.
Putin accused the West of participating in “nuclear blackmail,” according to The Associated Press.
“To protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” Putin said, hinting at deploying the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. “It’s not a bluff.”
The partial mobilization decree drafts 300,000 reservists, officials stated.
The caIl-up is Russia’s first since World War II, the wire service also reports.
Putin’s declaration also is the largest escalation of the war since he launched his country’s invasion of Ukraine nearly seven months ago.