Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, said on Wednesday that although his army might continue to fight in Ukraine for a considerable amount of time, he saw “no sense” in deploying more troops at this moment.
“As for the duration of the special military operation, well, of course, this can be a long process,” Putin said, using his preferred term for Russia’s invasion, begun in February.
Putin said that Russians would “defend ourselves with all the means at our disposal” at a war-dominated broadcast meeting of his Human Rights Council. He said that the West saw Russia as “a second-class country that has no right to exist at all.”
The latest in a string of warnings, he said there was an increasing chance of nuclear war, but Russia always sought to use its arsenal as a last resort and not as a first line of defense.
“We haven’t gone mad, we realize what nuclear weapons are,” Putin said. “We have these means in more advanced and modern form than any other nuclear country … But we aren’t about to run around the world brandishing this weapon like a razor.”
After at least 300,000 reservists were called up in September and October, he said there was no justification for a second mobilization at this time.
According to Putin, 150,000 of them were stationed in Ukraine, with 77,000 serving in combat units and the remainder in defensive roles. 150,000 people were still enrolled in training camps.
“Under these conditions, talk about any additional mobilization measures simply makes no sense,” he said.
Although he boasted in July that Russia was just getting started, Putin has rarely emphasized the anticipated length of the conflict.
Putin has stated he has no regrets about starting the most destructive conflict in Europe since World War Two, despite the fact that Russia has been forced to make considerable withdrawals since then.