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Not bluffing on nukes, says Putin, orders partial mobilisation of Russian citizens

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a partial military mobilisation in Russia following major setbacks in his war on Ukraine.

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Not bluffing on nukes, says Putin, orders partial mobilisation of Russian citizens
Putin orders partial military mobilization in Russia (AP photo)

By India Today Web Desk: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a partial military mobilisation in Russia following major setbacks in his war on Ukraine.

“Only citizens who are currently in the reserve and, above all, those who served in the Armed Forces, have certain military specialties and relevant experience, will be subject to conscription,” Putin said in a televised speech, adding that the decree for partial mobilisation was signed.

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Putin also issued a dire warning to Western nations that have aided Ukraine in its defence. “West is calling to weaken, divide and destroy Russia. West has crossed the line,” he said.

He also brandished the nuclear threat, saying that Russia had "lots of weapons to reply" to "Western threats" and asserted that he was not bluffing.

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"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 .

The Russian premier's address to the nation comes a day after separatist-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold referendums on becoming integral parts of Russia.

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On the referendums, Putin said his aim was to "liberate" east Ukraine's Donbas region, and that most people in the regions under Russian control did not want to be ruled by Kyiv.

The Kremlin-backed efforts to swallow up four regions could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war following significant territorial gains by Ukrainian forces in recent weeks.

In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there were a lot of questions surrounding the upcoming votes in Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. However, he emphasised that the news would not change Ukraine’s commitment to retake areas occupied by Russian forces.

“The situation on the front line clearly indicates that the initiative belongs to Ukraine,” he said. “Our positions do not change because of the noise or any announcements somewhere. And we enjoy the full support of our partners in this," Zelenskyy said Tuesday.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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