NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin will not win the war in Ukraine despite his order to mobilize thousands of extra troops, the secretary general of NATO said on Wednesday, calling the Russian leader’s threat to use nuclear weapons “dangerous and reckless rhetoric.”
Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters in an interview that Russia’s first mobilization since World War Two would escalate the conflict and cost more lives, but the move was evidence that Putin had miscalculated since the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
In an address to Russians earlier, Putin announced he would call up 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine and backed a plan to annex parts of the country, hinting to the West he was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia. read more
“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.
Stoltenberg, speaking to Reuters Editor in Chief Alessandra Galloni in New York, said 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.