Russian President, Vladimir Putin will not win the war in Ukraine despite his new order to mobilize thousands of extra troops, transatlantic military alliance, NATO has said.
In an address to Russians on Wednesday, September 21, Putin announced he would call up 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine and backed a plan to annex parts of the country, telling the West he was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said.
Russia possesses “lots of weapons to reply,” Putin added.
Responding to Putin’s threats, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general,
said the Russian leader’s threat to use nuclear weapons was “dangerous and reckless rhetoric.”
Stoltenberg, speaking to Reuters Editor in Chief Alessandra Galloni in New York, said that Russia’s first mobilization since World War Two would escalate the conflict and cost more lives including Russians and Ukranians.
He said the move was evidence that Putin had miscalculated since the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
He said NATO, the 30-nation Western defense alliance will stay calm and “not engage in that same kind of reckless and dangerous nuclear rhetoric as President Putin.”
“The speech of President Putin demonstrates that the war is not going according to President Putin’s plans. He has made a big miscalculation,” Stoltenberg said.
“More troops will escalate the conflict. That will mean more suffering, more loss of lives – Ukrainian lives, but also Russian lives,” Stoltenberg added.
Stoltenberg said that although Russian troops were ill-equipped and lacked proper command and control, it was hard to foresee the wat ending soon.
He said as long as Russia does not accept that Ukraine is a sovereign, independent nation.
“The only way to end this war is to prove that President Putin will not win on the battlefield. When he realizes that, he has to sit down and negotiate a reasonable agreement with Ukraine,” said Stoltenberg.
Stoltenberg added that members of the alliance have provided unprecedented support to Ukraine and that the NATO allies now need to replenish their stocks of weapons and ammunition.
As NATO was prepared for a “long haul” in dealing with Putin, it was now in close dialogue with the defense industry to build back its stocks of materiel, Stoltenberg said.