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America 'will hit Russia's military if Putin nukes Ukraine'

Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, who commanded the US Army in Europe between 2014 and 2018, said the chance of Putin nuking Ukraine was 'very unlikely'

America will retaliate with ‘a devastating strike’ against Russia’s military if Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the United States Army’s former European commander has warned. 

Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges today said any response by America ‘may not be nuclear’ but warned that if Putin were to use nukes in Ukraine that the US could look to ‘destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea’.

His comments come after the Russian premier sent shockwaves around the world, as he announced the ‘partial mobilization’ of his reserve military forces to continue his murderous invasion of Ukraine. 

And in a chilling warning directed squarely at Western and Nato leaders, desperate despot Putin insisted he would use ‘all means’ necessary to defend swathes of territory seized or set to be annexed by Kremlin forces before threatening to use nuclear weapons. 

‘If there is a threat to the territorial integrity of our country, and in protecting our people we will certainly use all means to us – and I’m not bluffing,’ he then added during his televised address to the Russian people on Wednesday morning. 

Gen Hodges, who commanded the US Army in Europe between 2014 and 2018, stressed the ‘possibility’ of Putin ordering a nuclear strike on Ukraine was ‘very unlikely’.

But he said the use of any strategic weapons of mass destruction would be met with a swift and severe reaction from President Joe Biden. 

Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, who commanded the US Army in Europe between 2014 and 2018, said the chance of Putin nuking Ukraine was 'very unlikely'

Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, who commanded the US Army in Europe between 2014 and 2018, said the chance of Putin nuking Ukraine was ‘very unlikely’

The US could launch 'devastating strikes' on Russian military targets in Crimea and the Black Sea, pictured, if Putin nukes Ukraine, a former US Army commander has warned today

The US could launch ‘devastating strikes’ on Russian military targets in Crimea and the Black Sea, pictured, if Putin nukes Ukraine, a former US Army commander has warned today

But if nuclear weapons were fired, Gen Hodges said the US could seek to attack military bases in annexed Ukrainian territory and Russia's prized Black Sea Fleet

But if nuclear weapons were fired, Gen Hodges said the US could seek to attack military bases in annexed Ukrainian territory and Russia’s prized Black Sea Fleet

‘He [Putin] knows the US will have to respond if Russia uses a nuclear weapon,’ Gen Hodges told MailOnline. 

‘The US response may not be nuclear…but could very well be a devastating strike that could, for example, destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea.

‘So, I think President Putin and those around him will be reluctant to draw the US into the conflict directly.’ 

In a scathing attack on the West, Putin today falsely accused Nato of seeking to launch ‘military action on to Russian territory’.

Speaking from behind a wooden desk, Putin told Russian viewers on state-controlled television: ‘In its aggressive anti-Russian policies, the West has crossed all lines.

‘We constantly hear threats against our people and some irresponsible politicians in the West are talking about not just providing Ukraine with long-range military systems that will be able to hit Russia – that is already happening, we’re talking about the border regions, in Belgorod and systems using strategic drones, planes, doing reconnaissance across the south.

‘There are plans in Washington and Brussels to move the military action on to Russian territory.

‘There are not just talking about Russia being destroyed on the battlefield, they are talking about political, cultural, and all other types of sovereignty with complete pillage. Now they’re talking about nuclear blackmail.’

Vladimir Putin has today threatened to nuke the West over Ukraine, as he announced plans to annex occupied parts of its territory to the Russian mainland

Vladimir Putin has today threatened to nuke the West over Ukraine, as he announced plans to annex occupied parts of its territory to the Russian mainland

Potential areas of attack for the US, if Russia does launch a nuclear strike, could include the naval port of Sevastopol on Crimea’s western coast, which has been occupied by the Kremlin’s forces since the peninsula was annexed in 2014.

Worried, Moscow has already moved some of its Kilo-class attack submarines from the Crimean peninsula to southern Russia over fears of them being struck by long-range Ukrainian fire, according to British intelligence.

In a daily briefing on Tuesday, the UK’s  Ministry of Defence said those submarines had ‘almost certainly’ been moved to Krasnodar Krai in mainland Russia, instead of a naval base at Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula.

The move comes as Putin faces the possible collapse of his so-called ‘special military operation’ after a stunning Ukrainian counter-attack last week which has seen Russian forces in the north-west driven back over the Ukrainian border.

With reported manpower issues and a critical shortage of military gear, Putin doubled-down on his assault of Ukraine, announcing the ‘partial mobilization’ of 300,000 military reservists – a first in Russia since the Second World War – and referendums in occupied areas of Ukraine to make them part of Russia.

 

Russia has announced plans for referendums to take place in four regions of Ukraine it either fully or partially occupied - Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson

Russia has announced plans for referendums to take place in four regions of Ukraine it either fully or partially occupied – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson 

Referendums will be held in Donetsk and Luhansk – which together make up the Donbas – as well as occupied Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

The White House on Tuesday rejected these plans to hold referendums in parts of Ukraine and said Moscow, branding the Kremlin’s plans as ‘shams with no legitimacy.’

Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, called the referendums an affront to principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

At the UN General Assembly, Biden is set to say the invasion is an affront to the heart of what the international body stands for as he looks to rally allies to stand firm in backing the Ukrainian resistance.  

Mr Sullivan said: ‘He´ll offer a firm rebuke of Russia´s unjust war in Ukraine and make a call to the world to continue to stand against the naked aggression that we´ve seen these past several months.

President Biden salutes before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base on his way to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, today. He will face pressure over how he will react to Putin's threat of deploying nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine announced the plans to hold the Kremlin-backed referendums in the days ahead on becoming part of Russia as Moscow is losing ground in the invasion. The White House on Tuesday rejected these plans to hold referendums in parts of Ukraine and said Moscow may be making the move to recruit troops in those areas after suffering extensive losses on the battlefield. Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden's national security adviser, pictured, called the referendums an affront to principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity

Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine announced the plans to hold the Kremlin-backed referendums in the days ahead on becoming part of Russia as Moscow is losing ground in the invasion. The White House on Tuesday rejected these plans to hold referendums in parts of Ukraine and said Moscow may be making the move to recruit troops in those areas after suffering extensive losses on the battlefield. Jake Sullivan, right, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, pictured, called the referendums an affront to principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity

‘He will underscore the importance of strengthening the United Nations and reaffirm core tenets of its charter at a time when a permanent member of the Security Council has struck at the very heart of the charter by challenging the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty.’

Putin accused the West of trying to ‘divide and destroy’ Russia, and warned: ‘Those trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the tables can turn on them.’

The move puts him on a collision course with Kyiv and its Western allies who have already said that attacks to liberate areas under Russian control will not stop, and the results of any ‘sham’ referendums will not be recognized.

But the Russian leader’s decision also hints at the struggles his military is having trying to get enough troops to the front-line. 

Estimates of the Russian casualties cannot be confirmed. However, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry this morning claimed more than 55,000 of Moscow’s troops had been ‘eliminated’. While the Institute for the Study of War yesterday suggested up to 80,000 Russian troops had been either killed or wounded.  

Russia has struggled with manpower and equipment, with fleeing soldiers abandoning weapons and tanks like this one pictured near Kharkiv on Thursday

Russia has struggled with manpower and equipment, with fleeing soldiers abandoning weapons and tanks like this one pictured near Kharkiv on Thursday

Russians gather in front of a billboard in St Petersburg displaying a picture of a Russian soldier along with the slogan 'Glory to the heroes of Russia', after Putin announced he will start conscripting men into the army

Russians gather in front of a billboard in St Petersburg displaying a picture of a Russian soldier along with the slogan ‘Glory to the heroes of Russia’, after Putin announced he will start conscripting men into the army

Putin attempted to revise history in his address, claiming the West was using Ukrainians as cannon fodder despite his military striking civilian targets (pictured)

Putin attempted to revise history in his address, claiming the West was using Ukrainians as cannon fodder despite his military striking civilian targets (pictured)

West vows never to recognize results of ‘sham’ referendums 

Western leaders last night vowed never to respect the results of ‘sham’ referendums annexing parts of Ukraine to Russia, speaking hours before Putin issued his new nuclear threat.

White House spokesman Jake Sullivan described the votes as a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty which carry ‘no legitimacy’.

Emmanuel Macron, speaking at the UN where heads of state are gathered for a general assembly, said that if Moscow’s plan ‘wasn’t so tragic it would be funny.’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin will only give up his ‘imperial ambitions’ that risk destroying Ukraine and Russia if he recognizes he cannot win the war.

‘This is why we will not accept any peace dictated by Russia and this is why Ukraine must be able to fend off Russia’s attack,’ Scholz said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the assembly the U.N.’s credibility was in danger because of the invasion by Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, and reforms of the council were needed.

‘Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a conduct that tramples the philosophy and principles of the U.N. charter … It should never be tolerated,’ Kishida said.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba vowed that: ‘The Russians can do whatever they want. It will not change anything.

‘Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say.’

If the referendum plan ‘wasn’t so tragic it would be funny,’ French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters ahead of the U.N. assembly in New York.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin will only give up his ‘imperial ambitions’ that risk destroying Ukraine and Russia if he recognises he cannot win the war.

‘This is why we will not accept any peace dictated by Russia and this is why Ukraine must be able to fend off Russia’s attack,’ Scholz said in his first address to the General Assembly.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the assembly the U.N.’s credibility was in danger because of the invasion by Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, and reforms of the council were needed.

‘Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a conduct that tramples the philosophy and principles of the U.N. charter … It should never be tolerated,’ Kishida said.

‘The situation on at the front clearly indicates the initiative is with Ukraine,’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address released early on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s position did not change because of ‘some noise’ from Russia, Zelensky added in a reference to the referendums.

Gen Hodges said it was clear the invasion was taken its toll on Putin’s under-equipped military.

Saying Putin’s scrambling of troops lacked any ‘meaningful impact’, the former military chief said it was ‘too early to tell’ the sort of reaction the Russian people will have. 

‘I don’t believe that too many of them will be fooled by the illogic of it nor do I anticipate that many will report as ordered,’ he told MailOnline.

He said it would be ‘months’ before the Russian reserves could be ‘properly equipped’ and deployed to Ukraine  

‘Without massive artillery support, these new soldiers will be pure cannon fodder, sitting in cold, wet trenches this winter as Ukrainian forces continue to press,’ he added.

‘Unfortunately for these soldiers, Russian artillery is becoming less and less effective due to the Ukrainian strikes on the logistical system that brings ammunition to the guns.’

He continued: ‘There is very little enthusiasm for any Russians wanting to join this fight otherwise there would not be such a massive manpower problem in the Russian armed forces today…I don’t see any bright days ahead for Russian armed forces or the current Putin regime.’

Russia is now almost seven months into what was intended to be a days-long war in Ukraine, and the situation for its troops is becoming increasingly desperate.

Having been forced to retreat from Kyiv in the early months of fighting after its advance stalled, the Kremlin’s war machine instead focused its efforts on ‘liberating’ the eastern Donbas region.

Months of grinding warfare saw Russia capture the whole of the Luhansk region, but only around half of neighboring Donetsk – which make up the Donbas.

As Russia’s advances slowed and then stopped, Ukraine went on the counter-attack – launching an offensive on the southern city of Kherson.

Russia moved forces from other areas of the country to help defend the city, at which point Ukraine launched a second counter-attack east out of Kharkiv – in the north.

That move caught the Kremlin’s commanders completely off guard, triggering a rout that handed 3,000 square miles of territory that Russia had spent months capturing back to Ukraine in just a few days.

And Kyiv has continued to press the attack, regaining a foothold in the Luhansk region and threatening to push further across the province.

Faced with war on two fronts and not enough men to hold the territory he has already captured, Putin was left with few options but to begin conscripting men.

However, experts and analysts say it will do little to turn the tide of the war in his favor.

It will take at least weeks, possibly months, to gather, equip, train and transport hundreds of thousands more men to the frontlines – time that Russia does not have.

By the time reinforcements arrive winter will be setting in when combat operations will be considerably harder, compounding the issues that Russia’s military already faces.

And mobilizing more men will do nothing to solve the chronic lack of equipment and supplies among Russia’s ranks, or fix the logistical issues which have hampered its attacks.

Some drew comparisons with the disastrous Winter War that the Soviet Union fought against Finland, which ended with hundreds of thousands of Red Army troops dead or wounded to around 25,000 Finnish.

Western leaders had pre-empted Putin’s remarks at the UN last night, saying they would not recognize the results of any ‘sham’ referendums in Ukraine.

‘The Russians can do whatever they want. It will not change anything,’ Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Tuesday as world leaders were arriving for the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

He later doubled down on the issue, tweeting: ‘Sham ‘referendums’ will not change anything. Neither will any hybrid ‘mobilization.’

‘Russia has been and remains an aggressor illegally occupying parts of Ukrainian land. Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say.’

French President Emmanuel Macron said that if the referendum plan ‘wasn’t so tragic it would be funny.’

He described Russia’s invasion as ‘a return to a new age of imperialism and colonies’ and warned that inaction risked ‘tearing down the global order without which peace is not possible.’

‘It’s not a matter of choosing one side between East and West, or North or South. It’s a matter of responsibility’ to the UN Charter, he said.

Russia will also carry out a partial military mobilisation, Putin said, with veterans and reservists with combat or service experience called up (pictured, Russian marines in training)

Russia will also carry out a partial military mobilisation, Putin said, with veterans and reservists with combat or service experience called up (pictured, Russian marines in training)

Putin lashed out at the free world after his military suffered a humiliating rout near Kharkiv last week that handed a swathe of territory back to Ukraine (pictured, destroyed Russian tanks)

Russia is increasingly resorting to desperate moves to hold on to the territory it has seized in Ukraine, including the apparent use of incendiary weapons (pictured)

Russia is increasingly resorting to desperate moves to hold on to the territory it has seized in Ukraine, including the apparent use of incendiary weapons (pictured)

Russia is increasingly resorting to desperate moves to hold on to the territory it has seized in Ukraine, including the apparent use of incendiary weapons (pictured)

Screaming former Putin advisor warns despot is ready to NUKE Britain

A former Russian MP and Putin advisor declared that British cities will be targeted by Putin’s nukes in a bare-faced tirade this morning on the Today programme. 

Sergei Markov had barely exchanged pleasantries with BBC Radio 4 host Justin Webb when he launched into a series of threats about nuclear war. 

‘It’s not a good morning for everybody. In Russia there’s partial mobilisation and for your British listeners Vladimir Putin told you that he would be ready to use nuclear weapons against Western countries… including against Great Britain.

‘Your cities will be targeted.’

Markov, who was elected to Russia’s State Duma in 2007 representing Putin’s United Russia party, is now a professor of international relations at a Moscow university and has a history of spouting Putin’s rhetoric in Western media.

‘If Great Britain will continue to be aggressor against Russia… if Prime Minister of Great Britain Liz Truss still has a plan to destroy Russia, people in London should understand the threat [of nuclear weapons],’ he said.

Markov’s unhinged comments today came moments after the Russian president announced partial mobilisation to reinforce his faltering war in Ukraine and delivered his most pronounced nuclear threat yet towards the West.

Markov from the get-go set about decrying Western involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and accused the West of using Ukrainian soldiers as ‘slaves’ to deplete the Russian army. 

‘It was absolutely clear that Russia has no war against Ukraine…there’s no reason to use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukrainians,’ he said.

‘But Ukraine is occupied by Western countries… it’s Western countries fighting against Russian army, using Ukrainian soldiers as their slaves. This was the main idea of Vladimir Putin.’

Bemused host Justin Webb allowed Markov to reach a conclusion before calmly asking whether the ex-Putin aide and the Russian people believed there could be a winner in a nuclear war. 

‘Everybody in the world is now thinking about nuclear war… which could be the result of crazy behaviour of US president Joe Biden and prime ministers of Great Britain Boris Johnson and [Liz] Truss,’ Markov retorted.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodrymyr Zelensky, spoke out this morning after Putin’s announcement – calling it ‘predictable’ and saying it show the war is not going to plan. President Joe Biden is expected to give a speech to the UN later today when he will rally Ukraine’s allies to stay the course.

Podolyak said mobilization will prove extremely unpopular within Russia, and accused Putin of trying to shift the blame for starting an ‘unprovoked war’ and crashing the economy on to the West.

It is thought the mobilization will press around 300,000 people into the Russian army – around twice the size of the force that Putin invaded with.

But it is unclear when exactly these men will become available, and the move will do nothing to solve Russia’s chronic lack of equipment, supplies and other logistical issues that have spelled disaster for its invasion so-far. 

Putin had resisted declaring any kind of mobilization until now, apparently fearing backlash from Russians who may have been supporting his ‘special military operation’ only because they had nothing to lose.

But the Russian leader dramatically changed tack under pressure from allies, propagandists and hardliners after another humiliating military defeat near Kharkiv last week which had sparked calls for him to resign.

He was at pains to stress that the mobilization is only partial, and will not affect ordinary citizens, conscripts or students. Those called up to service – starting today – will be those with experience of service and combat, he insisted.

However, the move spooked ordinary Russians – with a spike in searches for plane tickets shortly after the announcement as the cost of one-way flights soared to tens of thousands of dollars each.

Meanwhile a mixture of fear, anger, and dissent was spreading across Russian social media networks.

Users even coined a new word – ‘Mogilization’ from the Russian word ‘mogila’ or ‘grave’ – to describe the expected fate of those taken away to fight. 

‘I am super worried for my young male friends and my boyfriend,’ said one woman, 28, from a city thousands of miles east of the Kremlin where the Russian president issued his fateful TV call-up.

Lilianna D demanded: ‘I recommend mobilizing the entire Duma [parliament] and their families first of all. And let people see how loyal they are.’

Andrey Shipilov, a Cyprus-based Russian journalist, posted: ‘A friend from Russia has just messaged…an entire institute’s [graduates], all reserve officers, have already been called up this morning’. 

Speaking after Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu gave a rare update on Russian casualty figures, preposterously claiming that only 6,000 Kremlin troops have been killed in the war so far.

Ukrainian losses, he said, were ten times that: 61,000 dead in addition to 49,000 wounded.  

In a speech delayed for 13 hours overnight – triggering wishful rumours of a coup inside the Kremlin – Putin delivered his twisted interpretation of the war to date.

He attempted to rewrite history to paint the West and NATO as the aggressor – saying they had pushed Ukraine into a war with Russia, despite ordering an invasion of the country himself just seven months ago.

Ukraine began the war back in 2014, he said – referring to the date of Russia’s last invasion – when the ‘Nazi’ regime in Kyiv had turned the military on its own civilians in an attempted genocide following what he called a ‘coup’ to oust the country’s last pro-Kremlin leader.

In Putin’s retelling, the West ‘refused a peaceful solution’ and instead began rearming Ukraine for an attack on the Donbas – leaving him with no choice but to launch a pre-emptive war to protect people.

He falsely claimed that peace negotiations with Ukraine were deliberately undermined by Kyiv’s bloody-minded Western allies, who then began training and equipping its armed forces with the goal of destroying Russia.

Attacks on schools and hospitals are not the work of the Russian army, as reams of evidence suggests, but are in fact the work of Ukrainian Nazis and nationalists, he said.

Facing these threats, Putin said he has no choice but to accept the requests of his puppet leaders in occupied Ukraine to hold referendums on joining Russia, and no choice but to call up his military reserves.

He added: ‘In its aggressive anti-Russian policies, the West has crossed all lines… There are plans in Washington and Brussels to move the military action on to Russian territory.

IN FULL: Putin’s address to the nation

Russian President Putin gave his first address to the Russian nation since the start of his war in Ukraine this morning – mobilizing his military reserves and issuing a fresh nuclear threat to the West.

The despot gave his own twisted version of the war to date, painting Nato as the aggressors, saying the Ukrainians are torturing their own civilians, and that Western leaders are plotting the destruction of Russia itself.

Here is his speech in full:

Citizens of Donetsk and Luhansk, the People’s republics of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, and other people free from the Nazi regime. 

We will be talking about steps of protecting our sovereignty, the will and desire of our citizens to determine their own future, and about the aggressive bloc of Western countries that are trying to keep their supremacy at all costs – that are trying to block and suppress any independent centers of development in order to force their will in brutal ways on others. 

The aim of the West is to weaken, and destroy. They are openly saying that in ’91 they managed to split the Soviet Union and now is the time for Russia itself. 

Russia will be split into many regions and areas which are fighting each-other to the death. 

They had these plans for a long time. They supported bands of international terrorists in the Caucasus. They are encouraging NATO to come to our borders. There is total Russophobia and many years of total hate for Russia.

First and foremost this is in Ukraine. They made the Ukrainian people cannon fodder and pushed Ukraine into a war with our country

They started the war already in 2014, using the army against the civilian population, and organizing genocide, a blockade and terror against people who refused to acknowledge Ukrainian power as a result of a military coup.

As usual, they refused a peaceful solution of the Donbas issue and started claiming the right to use nuclear weapons. It became clear as before, a second large offensive in Donbas is inevitable and the decision of a pre-emptive military operation was the only decision and absolutely necessary.

The main aim of freeing the whole of the Donbas remains without change. 

The Luhansk People’s Republic is fully cleared of the Nazis. The fight in the Donetsk People’s Republic continues.

The occupation regime has made deep line of defense and therefore the part of our army and Donbas military units are using technology and people, and are freeing the Donetsk People’s Republic step but step, village by village, and helping people turned into hostages by the criminal regime

As you know, the professional army is taking part in the special military operation, however volunteer units are fighting alongside them. 

They have different nationalities, professions and ages. They are true patriots, protecting Russia and Donbas through the call of their hearts.

The Ministry of Defense was instructed by me to determine as soon as possible the legal status of these areas and also the status of the units of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. 

They have to be the same as the professional military of the Russian army, including social guarantees, medical and financial supplies.

We need to pay special attention to the procurement of the units of the Donbas using technology and munitions.

Our army, based on the decisions of the Ministry of Defense and the general command, have freed from the neo-Nazis the considerable territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. 

As a result, there is a long line of military contact – over 1,000km.

At the Istanbul [peace negotiations with Ukraine] there was a very positive reaction to our proposals concerning ensuring the security of Russia

But it was obvious the West was not happy with a peaceful decision, so after reaching certain compromises Ukraine was effectively given the direct order to undermine the negotiations.

The Kyiv regime started using new bands of foreign mercenaries and nationalists, and the army was trained by NATO standards and actually commanded by western commanders.

The repression regime intensified across the whole of Ukraine by its military who, in 2014,used the politics of terror and intimidation. It becomes more and more barbaric and terrible. 

The territories freed from the neo-Nazis and freed from the war, they are the Novorossiya lands we are talking about – Kherson, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporzhizhia regions – you have seen the barbarities of the neo-Nazis in the regions captured by them.

The Banderas [supporters of a far-right Ukrainian leader] and the Nazi mercenaries are torturing the peaceful citizens. 

In the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson over 7.5million people lived before the start of the operation.

Many were forced to become refugees, those who remained are constantly bombarded by rockets and artillery on the part of the neo-Nazis who attack hospitals, schools and create acts of terror against peaceful citizens

We have a moral right to give people that are dear to us, who are being tortured, we need to give them a chance to determine their own fate.

The parliament of the LPR, and the DPR, and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions have decided to hold referendums on joining Russia and have asked Russia to support such a step. 

I stress that we will do all that we can to create safe conditions to hold the referendums, so people can express their will and decision about the future. They will be supported by us.

Dear friends, today our army is directing at the frontline exceeding 1000km, and they are facing not just the neo-Nazis but the collective military machine of the whole of the West. 

In this situation, I deem it is necessary to make the following decision which is appropriate to the threat we are facing.

In defense of our motherland, to ensure its safety, territorial integrity, security of our people and in the free territories I deem it necessary to support the decision of the Ministry of Defense and the general command for a partial mobilization held in the Russian Federation. 

I stress that it is partial mobilization. Only those who are currently in reserve will be conscripted, and also those who served in the army and have certain military skills. They will be given additional military training, taking into account the special military operation.

The decree has been signed, officially the chambers of the federal assembly and Duma will be informed. 

The mobilization will start today on 21st September, I task the heads of regions to provide all necessary assistance to military commissioners. I stress that Russian citizens called up as part of mobilization will be given all the guarantees, all the benefits of those serving under contract

The decree of partial mobilization includes additional measures to safeguard the state procurement for the defence concerning military technology, and additional capacities for its production. 

All the financial matters for supplying defense factories shall be resolved without delay.

In its aggressive anti-Russian policies, the West has crossed all lines. 

We constantly hear threats against our people and some irresponsible politicians in the West are talking about not just providing Ukraine with long-range military systems that will be able to hit Russia – that is already happening, we’re talking about the border regions, in Belgorod and systems using strategic drones, planes, doing reconnaissance across the south.

There are plans in Washington and Brussels to move the military action on to Russian territory. 

There are not just talking about Russia being destroyed on the battlefield, they are talking about political, cultural, and all other types of sovereignty with complete pillage. Now they’re talking about nuclear blackmail.

The Zaporzhzhia nuclear power plant was shelled. Also the high representative of leading NATO states were saying that it might be permissible to use nuclear weapons against Russia.

Those who make such statements will be reminded that our country also has various weapons of destruction and with regard to certain components they are even more modern than the NATO ones.

If there is any threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to protect our people we will certainly use all means available to us. I’m not bluffing.

Russia citizens can be certain that the territorial integrity of our motherland, our independence and security will be assured. I shall stress – by all means available to us

And those trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the tables can turn on them

In our historic tradition our people had it in their destiny to stop those how are trying to subjugate our motherland and it will happen now. 

I believe in your support. 

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