Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday that any direct confrontation with NATO troops would result in “global catastrophe,” as he claimed that his divisive mobilization was nearly complete.

The Russian leader warned Kyiv’s allies against any military presence in Ukraine while speaking with reporters from the Kazakh capital of Astana.

“The introduction of troops into a direct confrontation with the Russian army is a very dangerous step that could lead to a global catastrophe,” he said when asked if the conflict could eventually involve NATO and Russian troops in direct combat.

While the Russian leader has taken to spinning his invasion of Ukraine as a conflict with the West, no NATO country has proposed putting boots on the ground in Ukraine.

The warmonger also told reporters the wildly unpopular mobilization policy would end within two weeks, and that “nothing further is planned” for future conscriptions.

Putin said that 220,000 of the 300,000 reservists have been called up so far.
Vladimir Putin said that Russia should be finished calling up reservists in two weeks.

“This work is coming to an end,” he said. “I think that in about two weeks all the mobilization activities will be finished,” Putin told reporters Friday.

The extent of Putin’s success in his effort to bolster his flagging army remains unclear — as does the number of citizens mobilized to date.

While the initial mobilization announcement mentioned 300,000 troops, the actual order place no cap on the number to be called up. Russian media reports indicate as many as 1.2 million Russians could have been pressed into service.

Hundreds of thousands of Russians fled once they learned that Putin would be calling them up.
Putin’s mobilization effort has been the first widely criticized action in Russia during the war.

Putin said Friday some 220,000 reservists had been mobilized.

The mobilization has lead to violence, suicides, protests and a mass exodus of fighting-aged men from the country, and those called up are also reportedly old and lacking in equipment and training.

“It is clear that they have been fielded with very, very limited training and very, very poor equipment, and that is the reason why we say that it is really unlikely that they have any sort of positive impact in the near term,” a Western official with knowledge of the relevant intelligence told Reuters.

Putin proclaimed the annexation of four partially occupied Ukrainian provinces and threatened to use nuclear weapons.
Putin ordered the mobilization three weeks ago, responding to Russian defeats.

Russia has continued to lose ground to Ukrainian forces in the three weeks since the mobilization order was given.

Putin on Friday again defended his decision to invade his Ukrainian neighbors, saying he “did not set out to destroy Ukraine,” and had no regrets.

“What is happening today is unpleasant, to put it mildly. But we would get the same thing a little later, only in worse conditions for us, that’s all,” he said, adding “My actions [were] correct and timely.”

With wires

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