NATO chief criticizes Putin’s nuclear threat and prepares for long-range conflict

The security general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Wednesday criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for threatening to use nuclear weapons after setbacks in the war in Ukraine.

In an interview with Reuters, former Norwegian prime minister and current NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called Putin’s warning “dangerous and reckless,” adding that the war in Ukraine is unlikely to end anytime soon unless Russia accepts that Ukraine is an independent nation. Still, he said he believes the West will continue to support Kyiv.

“We are prepared for a hard winter. Winter is coming, it will be hard for all of us. But the answer is not to resign and stop supporting Ukraine. The answer, if anything, is to step up and go further. “Support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

He went on to say that NATO was prepared for a “long-distance” conflict, adding that the organization was now in dialogue with defense industry officials to stockpile weapons and ammunition.

“We have reduced a lot of stock. We need stocks to be prepared. For this reason, we are now intensively involved in the industry,” said Stoltenberg.

The NATO chief’s comments come after Putin warned on Wednesday that he would use “all the weapons at his disposal” to win the war in Ukraine, which is entering its seventh month.

“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will undoubtedly use all the weapons we have to protect Russia and our nation. This is not a bluff,” the Russian leader said in his national address, according to a Mediazone transcript.

In addition to the threat, Putin also announced a partial mobilization of reservists to bolster and support Moscow’s armed forces in Ukraine. The command would mobilize up to 300,000 Russians with combat and service experience for the war.

In the hours following the announcement, protests took place across Russia. Demand and prices for one-way flight tickets from Moscow also skyrocketed. The fare from Moscow to Dubai, for example, has shot up to 560,000 rubles ($9,100).

Putin accuses the US of “deliberately” adding fuel to the fire with the Ukraine war

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