Alwaght- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced the partial mobilization of military reservists, a move signaling plans to launch new phase of the "special military operation" he started in February.
he also backed plans for referendums in southern and eastern Ukraine breakaway republics to join the Russian Federation, and appeared to threaten nuclear retaliation if Kyiv continues its efforts to reclaim that land.
It came just a day after four Russian-controlled areas announced they would stage votes this week on breaking away from Ukraine and joining Russia.
Vowing that Russia would use all the means at its disposal to protect what it considers its territory, Putin accused the West of nuclear blackmail and warned: “This is not a bluff.”
Speaking after him, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said an initial 300,000 reservists would be called up. Only those with relevant combat and service experience will be mobilized, he said.
The move is taken as the West steps up its military aids to Ukraine, risking a full-scale confrontation or even a nuclear war of world powers.
Putin ordered an offensive on Ukraine on February 24, arguing that the campaign came in response to the calls by ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine regions of Dontesk and Luhansk to be saved from constant attacks by the Ukrainian military on them.