By Kelly Bjornstad
On Wednesday, September 21st, Russian president, Vladimir Putin, organized troops for partial mobilization for the first time since World War II. To be precise, nearly 300,000 citizens pressed into military forces. And Russian men aren’t sticking around to die for a country they don’t see worthy. 37-year-old Alexandr reports his urgent trip out of Moscow for The New York Times, explaining how the plane he boarded to arrive at a city he had never heard of before was full of people just like him. Commenting about the “…Stooped young men with laptops.” who had never heard of their soon to be home either. And the Kremlin council that’s served as protection for Russia’s Setbacks in battle in places like Kyviv and Snake Island, (two of Russia’s most critical capture points in Ukraine and the Black Sea) has finally admitted to tactical failures. Putin now faces more pressure than ever before to seize areas of both eastern and southern Europe. Which, he made sure to include in his plans when speaking about the mobilization on Wednesday.
In addition to the mobilization, Putin alluded to nuclear warfare, and touched on the measures he’s willing to take to move forward with his plans. “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation. Adding, “In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line,” and threatening “This is not a bluff. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them.” This news isn’t sitting well with Russian citizens. More than 1,300 civilians were detained at protests resisting Putin’s suggested motions. But, he’s determined to hold his ground- even though his plans have taken the lives of tens of thousands of both Ukrainian and Russian soldiers, as well as innocent Ukrainian civilians. All of whom have faced mass amounts of force, destruction, assault, killings, and brutal punishment as a result of resistance; or for no wrongdoing at all. Despite all of this, Putin reiterated his message on the 21st of this month, leaving Russian citizens with the words “It is in our historical tradition, in the fate of our people, to stop those striving for world domination…We will do it now, and it will be so, I believe in your support.”
Putin’s words have led to a response from a variety of leaders. President Biden commented on the situation, saying ‘Putin’s war is ‘about extinguishing Ukraines right to exist.’ As well as “If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, then we put at risk everything this very institution stands for — everything,” He vowed to stand with the “courageous Ukrainian soldiers” as they continue to hold against Russia and their attempts at annexing parts of Ukraine. Four U.S. officials commented that Putin’s nuclear mentions were “irresponsible” and, according to NBC News, have confirmed that there has been no change in Russian nuclear or chemical capabilities. Bridget Brink, U.S. ambassador of Ukraine responded with “Sham referenda and mobilization are signs of weakness, of Russian failure.” Which goes back to the mobilization and tactical failures mentioned previously.
As Putin advances in his efforts, Civilians from both Russia and Ukraine continue to push back and fight for peace wherever possible. And hopefully all those suffering and fleeing danger in Ukraine are able to find safety for themselves and their families until they’re brought more comfort and security.