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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Who takes Putin seriously? – Present

This Wednesday began with the transmission of Vladimir Putin’s message to the population of the Russian Federation, which had been expected since last night.

in speechthe Russian president announced a “partial mobilization” of the country’s citizens, as the war in Ukraine is about to reach the seventh month of the conflict.

The measure, which comes into force immediately, obeys the need to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, underlined the Russian head of state. Thus, Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24, is ready to use “all means” at its disposal to “protect itself”, declared Putin, who accused the West of seeking to destroy the country.

“I consider it necessary to support the proposal [do Ministério da Defesa] of partial mobilization of citizens in the reserve, those who have already served (…) and with relevant experience”, he declared.

Faced with “the threat” that “the Nazi regime in Kiev” represents for the Russian President, financially and militarily supported by the West, Moscow will use “all means at its disposal to protect Russia” and its people, warned Putin. , referring to nuclear weapons.

“This is not a ‘bluff,'” he warned.

“The objective of the West is to weaken, divide and destroy Russia”, he guaranteed, through the suppression of “sovereign and independent centers of development” in the world.

“They [os ocidentais] openly say that in 1991 they managed to dismember the Soviet Union and that now it’s Russia’s turn,” he accused.

The speech generated several reactions, between those who took Russia’s offensive position seriously and those who framed the speech in a context of threats without the real announced effect, typical of a Cold War framework, as happened in the late 20th century, period in which the division between West and East was based on a constant climate of threat.

THE US Ambassador to UkraineBridget Brink, considered, even in the morning, that the announcement, together with the referendums for the annexation of Ukrainian territories, are a “sign of weakness of the Russian authorities.

“Referendums and similar mobilization are signs of weakness, of Russian failure,” Brink said on the social network Twitter, assuring that his country will continue “to support Ukraine as long as it takes.”

In the afternoon, during the general debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, Joe BidenUS president, said that “this war [na Ucrânia] aims to extinguish Ukraine’s right to exist as a state”, and accused Putin of “blatantly” violating the founding principles of the United Nations Charter.

The President of the United States argued that “if nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences”, the post-World War II order collapses.

Addressing Vladimir Putin’s veiled threats in his latest address to the nation, announcing a partial deployment of reserve troops and warning the West that it will use every weapon at its disposal to defend Russia, Biden recalled that “a nuclear war cannot be expired and must never be stopped”.

O adviser to the Ukrainian President said today that the mobilization of reservists announced today by Russia contradicts all the initial plans of Moscow, which expected that the aggression would take only three days before Ukraine succumbs.

“We are on day 210 of the ‘three-day war’. The Russians, who demanded the destruction of Ukraine, ended up being mobilized, having seen borders closed, facing a blockade of their bank accounts, being arrested for desertion,” wrote Mijailo Podolyak in a message posted on the social network Twitter.

Later, himself Zelensky said he “does not believe” that Russia will use nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine.

“I don’t think these weapons will be used. I don’t think the world will let that happen,” the Ukrainian head of state said in an interview with German channel Bild TV.

Zelensky also warned of the risk of giving in to the Russian leader’s threats: “Tomorrow Putin can say that, like Ukraine, he wants part of Poland, otherwise he will use nuclear weapons. We cannot make such commitments.”

O NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using “dangerous nuclear rhetoric” in stating that he is willing to use “every means” in his arsenal against the West.

“This is dangerous nuclear rhetoric,” he said on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, but urging calm because “this is not new, he has done it many times.”

“We will remain calm and continue to support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg declared at a colloquium organized by the Reuters news agency, stressing that the Alliance had not detected any change in Russia’s nuclear posture.

“But we are following it closely and remain vigilant,” he said.

Gives ChinaWang Wenbin, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for dialogue and support for “any effort” that allows for a ceasefire in Ukraine.

“All efforts that lead to a peaceful solution to this crisis must be supported,” he said.

The spokesman assured that China’s position on the conflict “has always been clear and has not changed”. This involves “respecting the territorial integrity of all countries”, including Ukraine, while at the same time paying attention to Russia’s “legitimate security concerns”.

From Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousaasked by journalists about whether Vladimir Putin was “bluffing”, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa replied that “it is not the first time” that the Russian President has made these threats.

“There are times when [Putin] the vocal tone rises, the verbal tone rises, but this rise must be faced with serenity, it is an opportunity, the General Assembly [das Nações Unidas] is gathered, one way is to say it there at the General Assembly, another is to say it from a distance”, he added.

inside Russia, Alexei Navalnythe biggest name of the opposition against the established power of Putin, predicted a “huge tragedy” with the partial mobilization of the citizens.

“All this will lead to a huge tragedy and a huge number of deaths”, declared the main Russian opponent, who is currently in prison, during a hearing in one of the several cases he faces in Russia, in a video released by Russian media. .

“Of course, the criminal war that is currently taking place is only getting worse and worse, and Putin is trying to involve as many people as possible,” lamented Navalny, using a word banned by the Kremlin. [guerra]which classifies the invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation”.

According to Navalny, by mobilizing 300,000 reservists to strengthen Moscow’s troops in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin intends to “stain his hands [de sangue] hundreds of thousands of people”.

“Everything is done so that a single man maintains his power (…) and prolongs it”, lamented the opponent, imprisoned since January 2021.

Also in Russia, according to several reports, a large number of citizens rushed to buy plane tickets out of Russiaafter the announcement of Vladimir Putin.

Flights quickly filled up and ticket prices for the remaining connections soared, apparently driven by fears that Russia’s borders might soon be closed or a broader call that would force many Russian men of fighting age to go to the front lines of the conflict.

Tickets for Moscow-Belgrade flights operated by Air Serbia, the only European airline, in addition to Turkish Airlines, which maintains flights to Russia despite the air embargo decreed by the European Union, are sold out for the next few days.

The price of flights from Moscow to Istanbul or Dubai rose in minutes before hitting a new high, reaching €9,200 for a one-way economy class ticket.

Reports of panic spreading among Russians soon flooded social media, and anti-war groups indicated that the reduced number of plane tickets out of Russia had reached very high prices due to increased demand and quickly sold out.

Some ‘posts’ on social media already reported cases of people who had been sent back on Russia’s land border with Georgia and that the website of the Russian state railway company went down because too many people were trying to access it, in search of ways to leave the country.

Russian-language social media also saw spikes in activity with advice on how to avoid mobilizing or leaving Russia.

In an apparent attempt to reduce panic, the head of the defense committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament, Andrei Kartapolov, indicated that the authorities would no longer impose restrictions on reservists who wanted to leave the country, according to Russian media.

A Serbia-based group called “Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians and Serbs Together Against War” wrote on the social network Twitter that there were no flights available to Belgrade from Russia until mid-October. Flights to Turkey, Georgia or Armenia also sold out, according to the same group.

“All the Russians who wanted to go to war are gone,” the group declared, adding: “Nobody else wants to go there!”

Serbia’s capital Belgrade became a popular destination for Russian citizens during the war: nearly 50,000 fled to Serbia since Russia invaded Ukraine, and many opened businesses, especially in the information technology sector.

Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter Serbia, which is the only European country that has not joined the Western sanctions imposed on Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.

In several cities in Russia, the reaction to Putin’s announcement was the protest which has resulted, so far, in several dozen detainees.

The civil rights organization OVD-Info has already started its own count of the demonstrations and confirmed at least 44 arrests, although it is foreseeable that the number will increase, due to the calls for protests this afternoon.

Each protagonist will have their reasons for fearing or distrusting the Russian president, given everything that has happened in recent months and on the threshold of one of Europe’s most feared winters due to the risk of gas supply interruption.

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