He accused the Ukrainian government of receiving foreign mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained to NATO standards and orders from Western advisers.
“Today, our armed forces are not only fighting against neo-Nazi units on the more than 1,000-kilometer contact line, but against the entire military machine of the collective West,” said Putin.
Putin accused the US-led West of resorting to nuclear blackmail, saying Russia also has different types of weapons, and some of them are more modern than NATO countries’ weapons.
“In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and in defense of Russia and our people, we will certainly use all weapon systems at our disposal. It’s not a bluff,” he warned. “Those who use nuclear blackmail against us should know that the compass rose can reverse.”
Russia will call up and train reservists who have already served in the army. Donbass reservists and volunteers are entitled to the same guarantees as contract soldiers.
Putin said the heads of defense industry companies are directly responsible for achieving the goals of increasing the production of weapons and military equipment and using additional production facilities for this purpose.
Defense Minister Shoigu announced that a total of 5,937 Russian soldiers died during the military operation in Ukraine, while the death toll on the Ukrainian side is 10 times higher with 61,207 Kiev soldiers killed.
It is the first time that Russia has announced its casualties during the military operation since late March, when the death toll stood at 1,351.