President Joe Biden speaks before the UN General Assembly about Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing a partial mobilization of Russian citizens and making an ominous nuclear threat after losses in Ukraine.
Joe Biden and allied leaders have reacted angrily to Vladimir Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons, and pledged to maintain support for Ukraine in the face of Russian annexation of more regions.
This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state and a people, and it should make your blood run cold.
Putin declared a “partial mobilisation” of the military in response to the west’s attempts to “turn Ukraine’s people into cannon fodder”.
After Putin’s announcement, 300,000 Russians scrambled to avoid the draft and air tickets rose in price. Russian opposition groups called for nationwide anti-war street protests.
Nato’s secretary general said that Russia’s nuclear forces had not changed and that a nuclear war could not be won by Russia.
Putin’s announcement came a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold referendums on becoming part of Russia. He also delivered barely veiled nuclear threats against Nato, but Biden made clear the US would not be deterred from supporting Ukraine’s fight to defend its territory.
Biden said Russia had violated the UN charter by organising a sham referendum to try to annex parts of Ukraine. He also said Putin had made overt nuclear threats against Europe.
Biden sought support from the developing world in what he framed as a contest between democracy and dictatorship, pledging $2.9bn for food security and $6bn for the Global Fund to Fight Aids Tuberculosis and Malaria.