Vladimir Putin has dramatically escalated the Ukraine war again by raising his nuclear combat readiness and bolstering his troops by 350,000 to turn the tide on his failing campaign, raising fears of a global conflict.
The war-mongering despot warned the Kremlin will invest whatever was necessary to increase its nuclear arsenal and vowed his much-hyped Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles will be available to his forces within weeks.
New military units will be formed on Russia’s western borders to terrorize and scold Finland and Sweden for seeking to join NATO in the face of Kremlin aggression.
The terrifying ramp-up of the war will send a chill down the spine of Western leaders after a period of relative calm and Ukrainian advancements, raising the spectre of nuclear war breaking out in Europe which would drag in NATO.
It’s timing as Volodymyr Zelensky is in the skies to Washington DC to meet with Joe Biden is a stark reminder of the possibility of the war descending into World War Three.
The US is expected to announce a huge new military support package for Kyiv, which the Kremlin has preempted with its own ambitious spending commitments.
In his speech to defense chiefs in Moscow today, Putin made a series of rare and frank concessions about his botched invasion, admitting there were ‘problems’ with his mobilization and acknowledging vague ‘criticism’ of his military strategy.
But to reverse his fortunes, the president will spend ‘whatever it takes’ on the military, ‘improve the combat readiness of our nuclear triad’ and increase his troop numbers from 1.15 million to 1.5 million.
He said the country’s military should learn lessons and modernize based on its experiences in Ukraine and special emphasis will go to developing his country’s nuclear forces, which he described as ‘the main guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty’.
Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, also declared plans to form new military units in western Russia too, as Kremlin chiefs prepared for a new phase in the war which is entering its tenth month.
The nuclear-capable cutting-edge Zircon missiles, which travel at speeds of nearly 7,000mph, have ‘no equivalent in the world’, Putin claimed, although his forces have been beset with humiliation after humiliation so far in his war.
The despot vowed today: ‘We have no funding restrictions. The country and the government are providing everything that the army asks for.’
Putin also acknowledged that the call-up of 300,000 reservists that he ordered in September had not gone smoothly.
‘The partial mobilization that was carried out revealed certain problems, as everyone well knows, which should be promptly addressed,’ he said.
The call-up drew strong criticism even from Kremlin allies, as it emerged that military commissariats were enlisting many men who were physically unfit or too old, and new recruits were lacking basic equipment such as sleeping bags and winter clothing.
Shoigu then announced a plan to increase Russia’s military to 1.5 million, including 695,000 volunteer contract soldiers.
He did not say when the increased strength will be achieved.