Partial mobilization of reservists, nuclear threat… Vladimir Putin announced, Wednesday, September 21, the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists to relaunch his offensive in Ukraine. He also brandished the threat of the use of nuclear weapons, saying he was ready to use “all means” in his arsenal against the West, which he accused of wanting “destroy” Russia. “It’s not a bluff”, he assured. Late in the evening, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, reacted before the members of the UN, gathered in New York, demanding a “fair punishment” against Russia, as well as the creation of a special tribunal against Moscow.
Washington responds to the UN platform
The threat made by the head of the Kremlin is taken “seriously” by Washington. At the UN podium, the American president, Joe Biden, for his part attacked head-on Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, accusing it of having “shamelessly violated” the principles of the United Nations since its offensive in Ukraine. And after Vladimir Putin threatened to use atomic weapons, the American president insisted: “A nuclear war is impossible to win and it must not be waged”.
Demonstrations suppressed in Russia
It is not only in New York that these declarations have reacted. In Russia, this partial mobilization of reservists provoked improvised demonstrations in at least 38 cities and the arrest of at least 1,341 people, according to the NGO OVD. These are the largest protests in Russia since those following the announcement of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine in late February.
An “admission of weakness” according to the EU
The mobilization of reservists has been described in Europe as a “admission of weakness” from Moscow. It must be said that the army has suffered setbacks in recent weeks against the Ukrainian forces. However, the foreign ministers of the European Union will hold an informal emergency meeting on Wednesday evening in New York on the subject. The question of new sanctions will be “on the table”assured the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell.
Zelensky says he ‘doesn’t believe’ in nuclear threat
For his part, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, affirmed, at the microphone of German television Bild TV, “not to beleive” to the use of nuclear weapons by Moscow. “I don’t think the world will let it happen”, he added. The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Valery Zaloujny, for his part promised in the evening to “destroy” Russians who will go to Ukraine to fight, including those who will be mobilized after President Putin’s decree.
China and Turkey distance themselves
At the end of the day, China, courted by Russia, seemed to distance itself by calling for a ceasefire and respect for the territorial integrity of States. And she’s not the only one. Turkey condemns annexation referendums “illegitimate” of Russia, warning that they “will not be recognized by the international community”.
In addition, ten prisoners of war were transferred from Russia to Saudi Arabia, as part of an exchange between Moscow and Ukraine favored by Saudi mediation. They are five Britons, two Americans, a Moroccan, a Swede and a Croat. An act hailed by the United States, which “thanked” Volodymyr Zelensky and his government “for including two U.S. citizens in the prisoner exchange announced today” with Russia, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said. “We thank the Crown Prince (Mohammed bin Salman, editor’s note) and the Saudi government for facilitating” the operation, he also wrote on Twitter.