We won’t be cowed by Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats: Liz Truss issues defiant riposte after desperate Russian leader warns West of Armageddon if he’s thwarted over Ukraine invasion
She and 乔·拜登 both denounced the Russian despot in New York after he delivered a chilling speech in Moscow.
Putin said he had ordered the mobilisation of reserves to fight in Ukraine and claimed he was ‘not bluffing’ over the use of his nuclear arsenal.
The crisis dominated talks between the Prime Minister and President Biden last night during which they insisted the West would not yield to aggression.
Addressing the UN general assembly in the early hours, Miss Truss said Putin was ‘desperately trying to justify his catastrophic failures’.
The Prime Minister told fellow world leaders that the UK will spend 3 per cent of GDP on defence by 2030, repeating a promise she made when she campaigned to become Tory leader.
She added: ‘He (普京) is doubling down by sending even more reservists to a terrible fate. He is desperately trying to claim the mantle of democracy for a regime without human rights or freedoms.
‘And he is making yet more bogus claims and sabre-rattling threats. This will not work. The international alliance is strong – Ukraine is strong.’
Miss Truss, who has held talks in New York with Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife Olena, said Ukrainians were ‘not just defending their own country – they are defending our values and the security of the whole world. That’s why we must act’.
President Biden condemned Putin’s threat to deploy his nuclear arsenal following a series of military setbacks.
‘A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,’ he told the UN general assembly. ‘We will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression, period.’
He said Russia had ‘shamelessly violated the core tenets’ of the UN with a ‘brutal, needless war’ and its alleged war crimes ‘should make your blood run cold’.
The unprecedented warnings came as:
- Russia released five captured Britons in a deal brokered by Saudi Arabia, including two former soldiers sentenced to death;
- Protests sprang up in Russian cities at the decision to mobilise 300,000 reservists;
- Queues formed at the border with Finland and air tickets sold out as potential conscripts tried to flee;
- Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that any use of nuclear weapons would have ‘unprecedented consequences for Russia’;
- Foreign Secretary James Cleverly prepared to confront his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov with evidence that Moscow plans sham referendums in Ukraine’s breakaway republics;
- Miss Truss pledged to give Ukraine at least £2.3billion in military aid next year – the same as promised this year.
Crisis talks: Liz Truss with Joe Biden in New York last night. They discussed Vladimir Putin’s escalation of the Ukraine war
Smiles: Shaun Pinner (左中) and Aiden Aslin (centre right), arriving in Saudi Arabia with other hostages last night
Other British prisoners of war held captive by the Russian authorities have finally been released and are on their way back to the UK
Free at last: British hostages Shaun Pinner (left) and Aiden Aslin (right), along with a third released prisoner of war giving a peace sign
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which was supposed to be over in three days, has been hit with a string of disasters.
These culminated with Ukrainian forces recapturing more than 1,000 square miles of territory this month.
In his rambling speech yesterday, Putin accused Western powers of ‘trying to tear apart and destroy Russia’ and claimed they were ‘using the Ukrainian people as cannon fodder’.
‘If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will absolutely use all available means to protect Russia and our people. We are not bluffing,’ he said during a 20-minute tirade.
‘Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction.’
The 69-year-old leader did not say whether Moscow would use shorter-range, tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield, or the long-distance strategic warheads that can destroy entire cities.
His pre-recorded comments are his most overt threat since the illegal invasion of Ukraine began nearly seven months ago.
A diplomatic source said there were growing fears that Putin could follow through on his threat to use nuclear weapons.
‘We take this threat very seriously in terms of pure defence, but also as another example of Putin flouting international agreements,’ the source said.
‘The threat either of using tactical nuclear weapons, which would be tragic, or using bigger nuclear weapons is very real.’
The source said the bellicose language from the Kremlin suggested Putin was becoming increasingly desperate, adding: ‘We are not going to engage in a battle of words about a nuclear threat from a man who postponed his speech last night, was shaking when he delivered it, and is now attempting to mobilise reservists who are attempting to get to airports across Russia. His lies are catching up with him.’
Vladislav Davidzon, a Russia expert at the Atlantic Council think-tank, described Putin’s speech as an ‘act of rage’.
Four police officers wearing black visors, vests and carrying batons detain a person in Moscow this evening
‘Threatening to use atomic weapons looks like an extremely reckless gamble, but it is far from certain whether Putin would go ahead with it,’ 他加了. ‘If you have to tell your enemies you are not bluffing, it probably means that you are.’
Putin yesterday signed a decree for an immediate ‘partial mobilisation’, giving his defence minister Sergei Shoigu the power to draft in 300,000 conscripts.
It is the first mobilisation in Russia since the Second World War and draws from the country’s vast military reserves of around 25million people.
The move follows a draft bill approved by Russian MPs to increase punishments for wartime offences such as desertion.
The presidential order also forces army contracts to be extended automatically until the end of the mobilisation period, effectively indefinitely.
Putin’s speech signalled that he plans to immediately recognise the results of sham votes set to take place in the occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine from Friday.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky told Germany’s Bild tabloid yesterday that Putin wanted ‘to drown Ukraine in blood, but also in the blood of his own soldiers’.
‘I don’t believe that he will use these weapons, I don’t believe that the world will allow him to use these weapons,’ 他说, warning the West against giving in to those threats.
‘Tomorrow, Putin can say as well as Ukraine, we want part of Poland, otherwise we will use atomic weapons. We cannot make these compromises.’
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace branded the Kremlin’s move as an admission that Putin’s invasion was failing.
He added: ‘He and his defence minister have sent tens of thousands of their own citizens to their deaths, ill equipped and badly led. No amount of threats and propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war.’
The Prime Minister reminded her fellow leaders that the Queen had used her own address to the UN in 1956 to warn the world that it was ‘vital not only to have strong ideals but also to have the political will to deliver on them’.
She added: ‘Now we must show that will. We must fight to defend those ideals.’
乔·拜登告诉利兹·特拉斯，他“感到惊讶和不知所措’ 由英国人’ 参加国葬后对女王的喜爱 – 正如美国总统告诉总理他已经准备好“听听你的想法”’ 在北爱尔兰的英国退欧行中
在与总理会谈开始时发表讲话 丽兹桁架, 拜登先生描述了他是如何“感到荣幸”的’ 参加周一在威斯敏斯特教堂的礼拜.
美国总统和总理在女王陛下葬礼后都飞往纽约出席联合国大会, 自从特拉斯女士接任后，他们今晚举行了首次正式会谈 鲍里斯·约翰逊.
但 – 正如人们普遍预期的那样 – 美国总统还警告说，他已准备好干预英国与欧盟就北爱尔兰脱欧后安排的持续争端.
在她自己的开场白中, 特拉斯女士感谢拜登先生和他的妻子, 吉尔, 参加女王的葬礼和“支持”’ 美国在“非常艰难的两个星期”提供.
在与 Truss 女士会谈开始时发表讲话, 拜登先生描述了他是如何“感到荣幸”的’ 参加周一在威斯敏斯特教堂的礼拜
‘没有我能想到的问题, 具有全球影响的, 在美国和英国不合作的地方，我希望我们能够继续这样做,’ 他加了.
美国总统透露他和特拉斯女士将讨论俄罗斯入侵乌克兰的问题, 中国带来的挑战, 伊朗核协议, 和全球能源安全.
关于英国与欧盟的脱欧之争, 他加了: “我们都致力于保护北爱尔兰耶稣受难日协议的成果，我期待听到你的想法以及我们如何继续合作。’
回应拜登先生, 特拉斯女士将女王描述为“建立现代英国的基石”’ 正如她所指出的，“对她的巨大爱意倾泻而出’ 在英国和美国.
桁架女士, 谁在成为总理之前是外交大臣, 告诉拜登先生，她以前喜欢“非常密切地工作”’ 与美国国务卿托尼·布林肯讨论西方对俄罗斯入侵乌克兰的反应.