Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has made known his intention to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia amid the ongoing war with Ukraine.
According to The AFP, he disclosed that he would use “every available means” to ensure the protection of his country’s territory.
This was after Moscow-held regions of Ukraine had suddenly announced annexation referendums.
Putin was also reported to have ordered Russia’s first mobilisation since World War II.
In the biggest escalation of the Ukraine War since Moscow’s invasion on February 24, Putin accused the United States, the European Union, and Britain of encouraging Ukraine to push military operations into Russia. He also raised the possibility of a nuclear conflict. He also gave his approval to a plan to annex a Hungary-sized portion of Ukraine.
In a televised pre-recorded address to the nation, Putin accused the West of trying to “destroy” his country through its backing of Kyiv. He added that Russia needed to support those in Ukraine, who wanted to “determine their own future.”
The Russian leader announced a partial military mobilisation, with Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, telling state television that some 300,000 reservists would be called up.
He said, “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will, without doubt, use all available means to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff.”
“In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line. This is not a bluff. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them,” he added.