In a video message on Wednesday, Russian leader Vladimir Putin accused the West of participating in "nuclear blackmail," and said "to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal."
And in reference to deploying the world's largest nuclear arsenal to match a nuclear attack by the West, Putin said: "It’s not a bluff."
Snubbed by planners of the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II who extended invitations to the government of North Korea, and buffeted by a U.S.-backed counteroffensive in Ukraine, Putin charged that "this West" sought Russia's destruction.
In the video message, Putin announced an immediate "partial" military mobilization against Ukraine and reiterated that Moscow would respond with "all available means" if threatened.
The mobilization follows recent setbacks for Russia in Ukraine. Ukrainian forces last week claimed they recaptured about 1,000 square miles.
Putin made reference to “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 responded:
“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 said. “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 purpose of this West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country," Putin said.
The Kremlin's partial military mobilization decree drafts 300,000 reservists, officials at the Kremlin stated.
The mobilization is Russia's first since World War II.
Putin's declaration also is the largest escalation of the war since he launched his country's invasion of Ukraine nearly seven months ago.