Vladimir Putin has announced that referenda will be held in four regions of the eastern part of Ukraine whose populations will now vote on whether to join the Russian Federation, much like the Crimea referendum of 2014 which resulted in Russia’s annexation of that territory. Putin announced that 300,000 additional troops will be mobilized for the war to help facilitate this action, which is a major escalation in the conflict by any measure.
Putin also issued a stern nuclear warning that’s being hysterically spun by empire managers as a shocking and unprecedentedly bellicose threat, but if you read what he actually said it’s clear that he’s really reminding the west of the same principles of Mutually Assured Destruction that have been in place for generations, and isn’t expressing any position that western nuclear powers don’t also hold:
Nuclear blackmail was also launched. We are talking not only about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is encouraged by the West, which threatens a nuclear catastrophe, but also about the statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia – nuclear weapons.
To those who allow themselves to make such statements about Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for some components more modern than those of the NATO countries. And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff.
The citizens of Russia can be sure that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be ensured, I emphasize this again, with all the means at our disposal. And those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind can also turn in their direction.