Vladimir Putin

September 26, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship to former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden.

September 26, 2022

If Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine the United States has warned Putin there will be "catastrophic" consequences.

September 21, 2022

Russian media on Wednesday broadcast a pre-recorded speech from Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing a "partial mobilization" of military reservists for his war in Ukraine, effective immediately. "Only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military specialty and relevant experience," he said. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking after Putin, said about 300,000 reservists will be called up.  Shoigu tried to "dampen down the fears of Russian men across the country about this sudden 'partial mobilization' to Ukraine," BBC Eastern Europe correspondent Sarah Rainsford writes. But despite his assurances, "the war that many Russians have been trying, largely, to ignore, has now been brought much closer to home for tens of thousands of them and their families." Russia's stock market took a tumble after Putin's announcement, and Russians started searching online for ways to get out of the country as rumors of the speech spread Tuesday. Putin's mobilization bombshell capped a speech in which he blamed the West for his invasion, welcomed the upcoming "referendums" in four Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine, and threatened NATO countries with nuclear retaliation. "When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal — this is not a bluff," he said. "Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction." "The threat is clear," The Economist's Oliver Carroll tweeted. "'We will annex Ukrainian territories with bombs and referenda. If you try to take them back, we reserve the right to nuke you.' Fundamentally, doesn't change much on the battlefield. The aim, I'd suggest, is to test Western support of Ukraine." "Putin's breaking of his own promise not to mobilize parts of his population" is an "admission that his invasion is failing," British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace responded. "No amount of threats and propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war, the international community are united, and Russia is becoming a global pariah." Besides, "it takes months to mobilize, equip, and organize new fighting forces, even if those being called up have previous military experience." the BBC's Paul Adam writes. "And given Russia's catastrophic material losses, Moscow may struggle to give new units the equipment they need to fight effectively."

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