Defense Minister Vladimir Putin sent a clear message to the Russian people on Wednesday that their country is at war not only with Ukraine, but with the entire West.
“I cannot but stress the fact that today we are at war not so much with Ukraine and the Ukrainian army as with the collective West,” said Sergei Shoigu in a televised address. tast.
“At this point, we are really at war with the collective West, with NATO,” Shoigu added.
Shoigu’s warning comes as Putin announced that Russia would conduct a “partial mobilization” to better deal with the war in Ukraine, days after a series of resounding battlefield defeats in Ukraine as Ukrainian forces carried out successful counterattacks in the south and northeast. In a speech announcing the move Wednesday morning, Putin noted that the West was considering the use of nuclear weapons against Russia and threatened to use nuclear weapons in return — without providing any evidence of the supposed Western threats.
“To those who allow themselves such statements in relation to Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction,” Putin said. “This is not a hoax.”
“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, in order to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” Putin added.
Shoigu’s speech aligns well with the Kremlin’s position on the war in Ukraine. Russia has constantly sought to blame the West for provoking Russia.
President Joe Biden criticized Putin in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday in an effort to remind world leaders that despite Moscow’s narrative that the United States and NATO pushed Russia to invade Ukraine, Putin chose to invade Ukraine without provocation.
“Putin claims he had to act because Russia was under threat,” Biden said. But no one threatens Russia. No one other than Russia sought conflict.”
Shoigu on Wednesday bragged about how successful the war was for Russia. He sought to formulate the idea that 300,000 Russian reserve soldiers would participate in the “partial mobilization” because of this success – notwithstanding the fact that from the early days of the war Russian forces had failed to achieve their main goals, including the failure to capture Kyiv and needed to scale back their goals many times.
“We kill, kill and kill, and the time has come: we are at war with the collective West,” Shoigu said.
This move may not be all Putin and Shoigu are doing. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the flurry of action in Russia – from the Russian State Duma announcing increased sanctions for desertions or draft evasion along with announcing partial mobilization and nuclear threats – is a dead giveaway that Putin’s plans in Ukraine Not going well. Wednesday.
In a strange attempt to convince the Russians that the war was going well, Shoigu suggested that Only about 6000 Russian soldiers They died in the war, but insisted that more troops would be necessary to emerge victorious.
The reality is much worse. As recently as August, the Pentagon estimated that between 70,000 and 80,000 Russian soldiers were wounded or killed.