Vladimir Putin’s defense minister sent a clear message to the Russian people on Wednesday: Their country is at war not just with Ukraine, but with the entire West.
“I cannot overemphasize the fact that today we are not so much at war with the West as with Ukraine and the Ukrainian army,” Sergei Shoigu said in a televised speech. TASS.
“Right now, we are really at war with the collective West, with NATO,” Shoigu added.
Shoigu’s warning comes days after a series of battlefield defeats in Ukraine, when Putin announced that Russia would carry out a “partial mobilization” to better deal with the war in Ukraine as Ukrainian forces launched successful counterattacks in the south and northeast. In a speech announcing the move Wednesday morning, Putin suggested the West was considering using nuclear weapons against Russia and threatened to use nuclear weapons in return — without providing any evidence of the West’s supposed threat.
“To those who allow themselves such statements about Russia, I want to remind you that there are different ways of destruction in our country as well.” Dr. Putin. “This is not a bluff.”
“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we must use all means at our disposal,” Putin added.
Shoigu’s rhetoric fits well with the Kremlin line on the war in Ukraine; Russia has consistently sought to blame the West for provoking Russia.
President Joe Biden slammed Putin in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday in an effort to remind world leaders that while Moscow’s narrative is that the United States and NATO pushed Russia to invade Ukraine, Putin chose to invade Ukraine without provocation.
“Putin claimed he had to act because Russia was threatened,” Biden said. But no one threatened Russia. No one wanted a conflict except Russia.
Shoigu boasted on Wednesday about how well the war was going for Russia. He wanted to create the impression that the 300,000 Russian reservists were participating in “partial mobilization” because of that success—regardless of the fact that since the first day of the war, Russian troops had failed to achieve key objectives, including the capture of Kyiv, and had scaled back their objectives several times. have to do
“We are killing, killing and killing, and the time has come: we are at war with the united West,” Dr. Shoigu.
The move may not be all Putin and Shoigu. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the flurry of activity in Russia — from partial mobilization of Russia’s Duma and declaration of nuclear threats as well as increased penalties for desertion or evasion — is a dead giveaway that Putin’s plan in Ukraine is not going well. Wednesday.
In a curious attempt to convince the Russians that the war was going well, Shoigu suggested that Only 6,000 Russian troops was killed in battle, but insisted that more troops would be needed to be victorious.
The reality is worse. The Pentagon estimated that, as of recent August, somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 Russian troops had been wounded or killed.