Home / News / World /  Putin mobilises more troops for Ukraine, accuses West of 'nuclear blackmail'

Russian President Vladimir Putin on 21 September called up 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine , hinting to the West he was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.

This is considered as Russia's first such mobilisation since World War Two and the biggest escalation of the Ukraine war since Moscow's 24 February invasion.

The following development arose after mounting casualties and battlefield setbacks for Russian forces who got driven from areas they had captured in northeast Ukraine in a Ukrainian counter-offensive this month and are bogged down in the south.

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.

ALSO READ: Ukraine War: Why is Putin mobilizing Russia and what it means

To this, Ukraine and its Western allies responded and said Russia's move showed Russia's campaign in Ukraine was failing. Also, the allies pledged further support for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's government.

Russia's defence minister said the partial mobilisation would see 300,000 reservists with previous military experience called up.

Calling the Russian move as predictable, "Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said, "Absolutely predictable appeal, which looks more like an attempt to justify their own failure. The war is clearly not going according to Russia's scenario."

World leaders meeting at the United Nations in New York denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine ahead of Putin's address and plans for four occupied regions to hold referendums in the coming days on joining Russia.

Saying the West did not want peace in Ukraine, Putin accused Washington, London, Brussels of pushing Kyiv to "transfer military operations to our territory".

"Nuclear blackmail has also been used," Putin said. He also accused officials of NATO countries of making statements about "the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia - nuclear weapons".

"I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and in some components more modern than those of the NATO countries," he said.

With Reuters inputs.

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