Putin Ordered Call Up of 300,000 Reserves; Warns Against ‘Nuclear Blackmail’By Marcia Merry Baker
Sept. 21—Today Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an address to his nation, giving a situation report on Ukraine, and why he has taken the step to order a new, “partial” mobilization of forces, involving a call-up of 300,000 more personnel, and related, grave measures. His comprehensive statement is posted on the Kremlin website for world attention.
Putin expressed a strong moral commitment to the people of the four regions where referenda on joining Russia are to be held, Sept. 23-27. “People in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, in Lugansk and Donetsk saw and are seeing now the atrocities perpetrated by the neo-Nazis in the [Ukrainian-]occupied areas of the Kharkov region,” he said. "The descendants of Banderites and members of Nazi punitive expeditions are killing, torturing and imprisoning people; they are settling scores, beating up, and committing outrages on peaceful civilians.
“We cannot, we have no moral right to let our kith and kin be torn to pieces by butchers; we cannot but respond to their sincere striving to decide their destiny on their own,” he said.
Putin finished with a stark warning for the West which, he said, “has gone too far in its aggressive anti-Russia policy, making endless threats to our country and people,” resorting not only to terrorism, but also nuclear blackmail. “I am referring not only to the Western-encouraged shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which poses a threat of a nuclear disaster, but also to the statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction—nuclear weapons—against Russia,” he said.
“I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have,” he warned. "In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.
“The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be defended—I repeat—by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around.”
Veteran American military analyst Scott Ritter described Putin’s order as a “new phase” of conflict. It comes amidst a phase shift already underway in recent weeks, arising from the NATO escalation of belligerence in Ukraine, including the identification of nuclear contingencies by Western commanders, and the prevention of any negotiations toward a resolution.
Does the extreme danger in all this come from President Putin’s announcement? No. It comes from the idiocy of the Western refusal to listen to him. The first responses by Western leaders and media to Putin’s announcement were insane. The German media, for example, broadcast the message, “All these red lines from Putin mean nothing. Pay no attention.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called Putin’s remarks “reckless rhetoric.” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and a Chatham House spokesman gave the exact same formulation: “Putin is bluffing.” They said, Russia has lost on the battlefield, and is weak and faking. Chatham House fellow Keir Giles, appearing on CGTN this morning, said that Putin is
just resorting to the “same, vague hint at nuclear threat that we have heard before.”
U.S. President Joe Biden followed suit, beginning his address to the UN General Assembly this morning, by denouncing President Putin for being the “one man” causing the brutal Ukraine war, and for “just today, issuing threats and showing disregard for non-proliferation.”
Moreover, the United States, France and other Western nations have said over the past 24 hours, that they will not respect the outcome of the referenda on joining Russia, that will take place Sept. 23-27. Biden told the UN, this election is a “sham referendum.” The Chatham House’s Giles sneered today, “There may be an overwhelming pseudo-vote for joining Russia, like in 2014, but that is all it will be.” Stoltenberg said yesterday, “Such sham votes, referendums, do not have any legitimacy….”
There is very little time. It is essential for voices of reason around the world to speak up, to drown out this insanity. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Schiller Institute founder, today called for this kind of mobilization, stressing the danger of ignoring the reality of the threat of all-out war, including nuclear, which Putin is making very clear. She said, “Not to recognize it, is only to be explained by an unbelievable arrogance to deny what is going on…. More people have to come forward.”
What is also denied in the same quarters of idiocy and arrogance in high places, is that a systemic economic breakdown is underway—not simply localized episodes of hyperinflation, shortages, hunger and other discrete factors, and emphatically not man-made global warming. The oneness of the breakdown is to be seen in the simultaneous spread of hunger and misery in poor parts of the world, while at the same time there are protests, strikes and tractorcades spreading all over Europe. Today in Brussels, for example, more than 10,000 people turned out to demand the Belgian government intervene to stop the impossible rise in energy and food prices. In the U.K., where a strike wave is fully underway, a new report shows that over 10 million electricity users, 20% of the population, are behind in their electricity bills.
This breakdown, and the war danger, are part of the same picture. We are fighting for a new economic and security framework at the same time, and have the legacy of the method and ideas of Lyndon LaRouche for guidance. Sound the alarm for truth as never before.