March 24, 2023

Vladimir Putin’s defense minister sent a clear message to the Russian people on Wednesday: Their country is at war not only with Ukraine, but with the entire West.

“I have to stress that today our war with Ukraine and the Ukrainian army is not so much a war with the whole of the West as it is with the West,” Sergei Shoigu said in a televised address. TASS.

“At this point, we are really at war with the collective West, with NATO,” Shoigu added.

Shoigu’s warning came as Putin announced Russia would conduct a “partial mobilization” to better deal with the war in Ukraine, days after Ukrainian troops staged a successful counteroffensive in the south and northeast amid a series of events on the Ukrainian battlefield fiasco. In a speech announcing the move on Wednesday morning, Putin suggested the West had been considering the use of nuclear weapons against Russia and threatened to use them in return — but offered no evidence of the West’s alleged threat.

“To those who allow themselves to speak out about Russia, I want to remind you that our country also has all kinds of means of sabotage,” Putin says. “It’s not a bluff.”

Putin added: “When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, in order to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all means at our disposal.”

Shoigu’s rhetoric meshes well with the Kremlin’s line on the Ukrainian war. Russia has been trying to blame the West for provoking Russia.

President Joe Biden lashed out at Putin in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, trying to remind global leaders that Putin chose to invade Ukraine for no reason despite Moscow’s claims that the United States and NATO pushed Russia to invade Ukraine.

“Putin claims he has to act because Russia is under threat,” Biden said. “But no one threatens Russia. No one seeks conflict except Russia.”

Shoigu boasted on Wednesday how Russia’s war was going. He sought to convey the idea that 300,000 Russian reservists are participating in a “partial mobilization” because of this success – despite the failure of Russian forces to achieve key goals since the early days of the war, including the failure to occupy Kyiv and the need to shrink many times Target.

“We are killing, killing, killing, and that time has come: we are at war with the collective West,” Shoigu says.

The move may not be what Putin and Shoigu thought. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said a string of Russian actions — from the Duma’s announcement of increased penalties for deserters or evading conscription, to announcing partial mobilizations and nuclear threats — were the result of Putin’s actions. A deadly giveaway that the Ukrainian plan didn’t go well. Wednesday.

To convince the Russians that the war is going well, Shoigu suggested that Only about 6,000 Russian soldiers Already killed in the war, but insists more troops are needed to win.

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.

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