In phase 2 of the Russia-Ukraine war, Putin declared in a televised speech that only citizens who are currently enrolled in the reserve and, more importantly, those who have served in the armed forces, have specific military specialties, and have relevant experience, will be subject to enlistment. The mobilisation, which will involve 30,000 troops, will be Russia’s first since the Second World War, but the Russian President claims that the nation has no choice but to use every weapon in its arsenal to defend itself.
According to reports, Putin stated that the West was trying to weaken, divide, and destroy Russia. West has gone too far, and we will use every legal tool at our disposal to defend our citizens’ territorial integrity. He emphasised the phrase “this is not a bluff” particularly and asserted that Russia had a large arsenal to counter Western threats.
The Russian leader also accused the west of nuclear blackmail, citing Ukrainian forces’ shelling of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has the potential to cause a nuclear meltdown. He made the unsettling remark, alluding to Russia’s nuclear arsenal, “Those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind can change in their direction.”
This occurs at a time when pro-Russian authorities have set up referendums on joining Russia in four regions of Ukraine, namely the Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Donetsk regions, much of which is now controlled by Russian soldiers. Putin believes that most residents of the Moscow-controlled regions do not want Kyiv to rule them any longer, but Ukraine and its western allies think that the referendums would be illegal and sham elections. About 15% of Ukraine is made up of the contested regions, and given Putin’s history, he is more than capable of utilising the 25 million strong military reserves already present in the nation to further his objectives.