He said this in a pre-recorded address aired early on Sept. 21, against the background of preparations for sham referendums on the " accession" of occupied Ukrainian territories to the Russian Federation.
At the same time, the Russian dictator justified his threats by claiming that NATO was the first to declare its readiness to strike Russian territory.
This is untrue.
“I want to remind those who allow themselves such statements about Russia that our country also has various means of defeat,” Putin said.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will definitely use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff.”
Putin announced a "partial mobilization" in the Russian Federation to compensate for the colossal losses of Russian army troops in Ukraine.
"To protect our homeland and integrity, I consider it necessary to support a partial mobilization," Putin said, adding that mobilization measures in Russia will begin today.
The dictator said that only reservists, especially those with combat experience, would be subject to conscription. They will undergo additional training, he said.
After Putin's statement, a decree on partial mobilization in Russia was published on the Kremlin website.
The number of those mobilized from each region will be determined by the Ministry of Defense, according to the decree. Governors were tasked with organizing the conscription procedures.
Meanwhile, Kremlin proxies in occupied Donbas “statelets” announced on Sept. 20 that they would hold referendums on joining Russia. The occupation “administrations” stated that the sham plebiscite will be held Sept. 23-27.
Kremlin-controlled puppet "authorities" in Kherson and Zaporizhzhya oblasts also announced plans to hold referendums on “uniting with Russia” on the same dates.
The statements were made shortly after a rapid counteroffensive by the defenders of Ukraine: On Sept. 14, the Ministry of Defense reported that since Sept. 6 (in the space of one week), the Armed Forces of Ukraine had liberated 388 settlements and about 8,500 square kilometers in Kharkiv Oblast alone.
The Russian State Duma, the Kremlin’s rubber-stamp parliament, on Sept. 20 rushed through votes introducing the concepts of "mobilization", "martial law", and "armed conflict" into Russia’s Criminal Code. Now in Russia, desertion, absence from service and voluntary surrender will be punished more severely.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces continue their counteroffensive, which began on Aug. 29, liberating Ukrainian territories in several directions at once.
Defense forces keep the Antonivsky bridge and other crossings across the Dnipro in the Kherson region under fire control, preventing the occupiers from restoring critical routes for them.
Thus, they blocked the transfer of Russian troops, which seriously reduced the capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces in this region.
In addition to Kherson region, an active counteroffensive also began in Kharkiv region.
Today, it is known for certain that a number of territories with a total area of more than 8,000 square kilometers have been liberated, in particular Balakliyu, Kupyansk and Izyum, which are key for the Russian Federation.
This has forced the Kremlin regime to initiate an urgent pseudo-referendum on the " accession" of these territories to the Russian Federation through its puppets in the occupied territories.
In turn, Ukrainian partisans continue to eliminate collaborators who voluntarily agreed to work for the Russian invaders.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine