Putin orders mass mobilisation and issues nuclear warning – BBC News
Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling up thousands of extra troops to fight in Ukraine after suffering setbacks on the battlefield.
Mr Putin said the partial mobilisation was necessary to ensure Russian territorial integrity.
In a televised address Mr Putin also issued a thinly-veiled threat that he could use nuclear weapons.
He said the West was engaging in “nuclear blackmail” and that Moscow had “lots of weapons to reply”.
He declared: “When 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.”
Protests broke out in Russia following the announcement of mobilisation. It applies to 300,000 military reservists.
The mobilisation is the first since World War Two and comes after Ukraine’s forces made gains in a rapid counter-offensive this month.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it showed Mr Putin wanted to drown Ukraine in blood, including that of his own soldiers.
Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reporting by Steve Rosenberg in Moscow.