Russia will use its biggest and most powerful nuclear weapons to defend the territory it occupies in Ukraine, a staunch ally of Vladimir Putin insisted today.
Dmitry Medvedev, who served as Putin’s replacement from 2008 to 2012, has promised that the territories will become part of Russia in this week’s referenda – after which “all Russian weapons” will be used to defend them.
This includes ‘strategic nuclear weapons’ such as Putin’s giant new Sarmat missile, Medvedev said, and ‘weapons based on new principles’ – likely a reference to hypersonic technology which the Kremlin says is invulnerable to defenses aerial.
“The Western Establishment [and] all citizens of NATO countries must understand that Russia has chosen its own path. There is no turning back,” he added.
Russia will use its biggest nuclear weapons to defend its new territories in Ukraine, a staunch Putin ally says (pictured, Sarmat nuclear missile)
Dmitry Medvedev, head of Russia’s Security Council, said Russia’s hypersonic weapons could hit the West as he issued a new threat today
Medvedev spoke a day after Putin delivered a fiery and brimstone speech in which he launched a new nuclear threat against the West, telling world leaders: “I’m not bluffing.”
But Liz Truss, the British Prime Minister, hit back in a speech at the UN last night – telling Putin the West would not be ‘bullied’ by nuclear blackmail.
She pledged billions more to support Ukraine and said Britain would not stop arming the country until Russia was defeated.
US President Joe Biden was also defiant, promising that the West “will stand together against Russia’s aggression, period.”
He added: “A nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought.”
Putin also announced yesterday the “partial mobilization” of Russian military reserves, including those with combat experience and “special skills” needed by the military.
It’s the first time since World War II that Russia has squeezed its people into the military and comes on the heels of yet another humiliating defeat.
Ukraine scored a major victory last week by routing the Russian army east of Kharkiv, leaving troops fighting for control of Donbass vulnerable.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister, said 300,000 Russian men would now be conscripted and sent to the front – twice the size of the original invasion force – in the hope of stopping the rot and capturing the entire Donbass region.
Putin has been forced to call up his military reserves as his war in Ukraine fails, prompting young Russian men to attempt to flee the country last night
Lines of cars trying to get out of Russia form at the country’s border with Georgia hours after Putin announced the mobilization
Videos have revealed what appear to be the first buses full of men heading from some of Russia’s most remote areas to the front lines today.
But experts and analysts have said the reinforcements are unlikely to turn the tide of the war in Putin’s favor and may in fact hurt him by angering the population.
Overnight, anti-war protests took place in some 30 Russian cities and hundreds of people were arrested.
Thousands more have tried to flee the country to escape the draft, with plane tickets to visa-free countries selling out within hours.
Huge traffic jams and queues also piled up at border points overnight, while social media was flooded with messages – including wives threatening to break their husbands’ bones to render them unfit to fight.
Russia is now nearly seven months into what was supposed to be a multi-day war to overthrow the Ukrainian government and install a loyal puppet in its place.
Instead, Putin found himself mired in a bitter war of attrition against a bitter enemy backed by Western arms and money.
His army has made some gains – capturing territory to the south and east equivalent to the size of Belgium – and now appears to be trying to consolidate.
Putin yesterday announced referendums to be held in occupied parts of Ukraine on whether or not to join the continent.
A man is led away by security personnel in Moscow this evening as thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the war and the mobilization of reservists
A woman is led away by Russian police in Moscow this evening during a protest against the Russian President’s latest escalation in the Ukraine conflict
A man is led away by Russian security forces during a protest in Moscow tonight against Vladimir Putin’s order to mobilize military reservists
When – and not if – the fictitious votes pass, he promised us “every means” to defend them.
This has frightened nuclear experts, as Russia’s long-standing policy is that it can use nuclear weapons to defend itself in the event of an “existential threat” to the country.
Putin has suggested that attacks on ‘new territories’ could be seen as such a threat, which was highlighted today by Medvedev.
He wrote on Telegram: ‘Results of the decisions of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of 21/09/22
‘1. Referendums will be held and the Donbass republics and other territories will be admitted to Russia.
‘2. The protection of all territories that have joined will be significantly enhanced by the Russian armed forces.
‘3. Russia announced that not only mobilization capabilities, but also all Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles, could be used for such protection.
“Therefore, various retired idiots with generals’ stripes need not scare us by talking about a NATO strike in Crimea.”
“The hypersonics are guaranteed to be able to reach targets in Europe and the United States much faster.
“But the Western establishment, in general, all citizens of NATO countries must understand that Russia has chosen its own path. There is no turning back.