The Telegraph warned of what it described as the “nuclear blackmail” recently waved by Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that the Ukraine war “has entered a new and more dangerous phase”, with reservists mobilized to fill the gaps left by the damage caused to the Russian army since the beginning of the offensive in last February.
In an article, the British newspaper indicated that Putin announced this step in conjunction with the announcement of the eastern Ukrainian provinces under Russian control, to organize referendums to show popular support for Moscow instead of Kyiv.
The two actions are among a series of desperate measures announced by an increasingly beleaguered leader whose hopes for a quick and easy victory in Ukraine were dashed weeks ago.
“Because the former soldiers who make up the reserves will not be ready to fight for several months, it is clear that Putin is looking at a long war, with a possible counterattack in the spring,” she said, adding, “By that time, the Ukrainian army will be better equipped with NATO weapons, and more committed.” defending his homeland against the aggressor by invading it.
“Putin may call in more troops, but even his elite forces have failed to confront a resolute and well-armed opponent, and there is no reason to believe that the attrition will not last,” she said, explaining that “the big question that Western strategists need to answer is what happens when it becomes clearer.” To the Kremlin and the Russian people, that there is nothing but more misery, to come.”
“Unfortunately, early predictions of a coup against Putin did not work. If there is such a thing, the threats to his leadership come from hard-line nationalists who want to try the war more brutally.”
Moreover, “the Kremlin controls the message, and while people know the number of casualties is high, it is able to use the media to revive Russia’s old, and deep-rooted grievances, that the motherland is threatened by the West,” the article says.
The newspaper stressed that “these allegations are an unreasonable assertion, which does not make them any less convincing in Russia itself, where it has portrayed the suffering at the hands of Western powers over the centuries.”
Consequences of expanding the war
“At the United Nations General Assembly, Western leaders lined up to denounce the Russian president, but they need the support of China, India, Turkey and the major non-aligned nations, which usually prefer to remain neutral,” she added.
The newspaper concluded: “No one can stand idly by in the face of threats to use nuclear weapons. The whole world needs to make clear to Putin what the consequences of expanding this war will be and prepare for such a possibility. It is no longer reasonable to trust his dysfunctional threat to use nuclear weapons, just Trick”.