Putin threatens NATO with “various means of destruction”

PUTIN MAKES ANNOUNCEMENTS on September 21 that may escalate the invasion of Ukraine. The New Yorker

Nicolle Generaux | Newsroom Manager

September 23rd, 2022

Although President Putin started this war believing he would storm through Ukraine and take its land, people, and independence easily, he was sorely mistaken. After around seven months of conflict, Ukraine and its borders, for the most part, continue to appear secure and unchanging, proving their current stability. Putin is losing this war and attempting to make last-ditch efforts to save it and his reputation. 

Just this past Wednesday, Putin announced an immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens, which could potentially escalate the military power of the Russians. This “partial mobilization” will raise the age limit of new soldiers and force former military troops to rejoin. Although Putin is focusing on creating a larger mass of soldiers, he does not necessarily care if they are trained. Already, the media has noticed older, unskilled, and inexperienced fighters on the front lines of Russia. 

“I do not think it’s fair that former military soldiers have to rejoin even though they already served their country,” said Junior Isabella Salmon. “Putin should not force them to do that just because it will benefit his military.” 

Truthfully, Russia is losing its soldiers: throughout the war, Russia has lost 60,000-80,000 troops. Putin stated that he wants to expand his army from 137,000 to 1.15 million. Even with this new decree, it is unlikely that this will strengthen Russia’s military power, as inexperienced and unmotivated new troops will not measure up to the passionate and unflinching bravery of the Ukrainians. 

MAP OF RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN claimed territories as of September 19. CNN

Putin also declared that in several Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine this week, referendums will be held to vote on formally joining Russia. This, as believed by most Ukrainian and NATO leaders, is a sham poll to allow Putin to justify taking more powerful and dangerous military actions against Ukraine. If the allegedly rigged referendums vote for Ukrainian territories to become formally a part of Russia, any counter-attacks made by Ukraine to retake those areas will be considered “attacks on Russia,” and will be met with more force, according to Putin. 

“Our country also has various means of destruction and in 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,” said the Russian leader.

Now that Putin has brought in the potential use of nuclear weapons and possibly other more advanced armaments in this war, he has attempted to scare NATO and the Ukraine to back down, or at the very least intimidate his opponents. 

“Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction,” Putin also announced.

NATO leaders dismissed this threatening statement, declaring it a “panic reaction” by Putin, convinced that the international community is united and Russia’s war is a lost cause. 

President Biden additionally addressed these menacing disclosures, personally saying “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II,” adding that such actions would be “consequential.” 

This arguably tyrannical leader is creating a facade of Russia, its citizens, and its intentions. Despite Putin’s recent remarks and actions, many of Russia’s citizens disagree with the war that he started. 

“This just proves how one man can do so much wrong,” said Junior Sophie Rapeepat “but it does not define the people or its country.”

If NATO, along with the rest of the world, continue to support Ukraine and its military, and Ukrainians keep their patriotic and brave spirit on the battlefield, then an end to this war will come soon.

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