Mass protests have sparked across the country following the threats of nuclear warfare from Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. The threat comes after Moscow struggles to keep up with the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv, Mykolavia, and Izyum, resulting in heavy Russian losses.
The threat, also accompanied by a mobilization order from the Moscow chief would sacrifice 300,000 soldiers in the apparent desperate fight. The threat and the order have caused outrage among the citizens and resulted in people fleeing the country.
“I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction,” Putin said in a Wednesday morning televised address. “When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal.”
The threat of a nuclear war to defend Moscow’s “territorial integrity” from the Russian president comes amid the preparation of declaring the captured Ukrainian parts as Russian territory.
Russian-backed separatists this week have planned a sham election to declare occupied Ukrainian areas - Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson as part of the Russian state.
Dmitry Medvedev, chief of the Kremlin’s Security Council, said that the declaration would be an “irreversible” addition to Russian territories and that Moscow would do “anything” to defend them.
“Encroachment onto Russian territory is a crime which allows you to use all the forces of self-defense,” Medvedev added.
Ukraine, along with its western allies has joined forces to call the election an “illegitimate sham”, which is scheduled later this week on Friday.