Putin announces ‘partial mobilisation’ of Russia and threatens nuclear retaliation…

First the pandemic, then the cost-living crisis, and now we have nuclear annihilation to look forward to. From Reuters:

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called up 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine and said Moscow would respond with the might of all its vast arsenal if the West pursued what he called its “nuclear blackmail” over the conflict there.

It was Russia’s first such mobilisation since World War Two and signified a major escalation of the war, now in its seventh month.

It followed recent setbacks for Russian forces, who have been driven from areas they had captured in northeast Ukraine in a Ukrainian counter-offensive this month and are bogged down in the south.

In a televised address to the Russian nation, Putin said: “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect our people – this is not a bluff”.

Russia had “lots of weapons to reply,” he said.

Russia’s defence minister said the partial mobilisation would see 300,000 reservists called up and would apply to those with previous military experience.

Although Russia has been involved in a number of conflicts since World War Two, this was the first such call-up since then. The Soviet Union’s long war in Afghanistan involved conscripts.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said 5,397 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of the conflict.

The United States said last month it believed between 70,000 and 80,000 Russian personnel had been killed or wounded, and in July estimated Russia’s death toll at around 15,000.

In his address, Putin said the partial mobilisation of its 2 million-strong military reservists was to defend Russia and its territories. The West did not want peace in Ukraine, he said.

Russia seems to be losing badly; how can you win when the yanks and most of the world are backing Ukraine? Also, a nuclear strike would affect Russia as well, so it would be madness. But if the reports of Putin being ill are true, maybe he plans to go out with a bang and take the rest of us with him.

By escalating the conflict, the West is just going to pour more weapons into Ukraine. The Russian losses are staggering, how much more can they take?

It is all very depressing. Maybe it will all be over by Christmas…

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