Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilization of Russian citizens to boost his troops in the country’s invasion of Ukraine during a nationally televised address.

His revelation sent many Russian citizens looking for flights out of the country and hundreds more were arrested for protesting the war.

Putin’s decision to mobilize reserves will impact around 300,000 reservists, marking Russia’s first mobilization since World War II. These individuals have military training and other skills that Putin believes will help the struggling troops in Ukraine. Some of those called to join the fight will also be those who have retired.

Russia has surprisingly struggled since invading its neighbor seven months ago. The Kremlin has the larger military, but Ukraine has held its ground by using better battlefield tactics. Ukraine has also benefited from advanced weaponry from the West.

The Russian president continued his long-stated claim that Russia is in the war for the long haul.

In his Wednesday speech. Putin also threatened Western countries that might think about standing in Russia’s way.

“The territorial integrity of our homeland, our independence and freedom will be ensured, I will emphasize this again, with all the means at our disposal. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction,” he said.

“Our country also has various weapons of mass destruction and, in some categories, more modern ones than those possessed by Nato countries,” he added. “This is no bluff.”

Western countries haven’t been overly concerned about Russia’s threat of utilization of nuclear weapons.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte even called Putin’s latest move “a sign of panic.”

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