“I imply, that’s virtually twice as a lot as he dedicated to the struggle again in February of this 12 months,” Kirby mentioned on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It’s positively an indication that he’s struggling.”

Kirby’s remarks got here after Putin introduced the partial mobilization of reservists in a prerecorded handle on state tv earlier within the day. It was a big escalation from Putin, following Ukraine’s profitable reclaiming of territory within the north — including strain on the Kremlin to put out its subsequent steps in response to Kyiv’s advances on the battlefield.

In the national address, Putin additionally backed plans to annex occupied areas in Ukraine’s japanese Donbas area and the nation’s southern Kherson area, and he threatened using nuclear weapons if Kyiv continues its battle to reclaim the territory.

“When the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will definitely use all of the means at our disposal to guard Russia and our folks,” Putin mentioned. “This isn’t a bluff.”

The Russian chief went on to make false claims concerning the West’s nuclear threats in opposition to Russia, accusing the U.S. and its allies of making an attempt to “destroy” his nation. He bragged about Moscow’s nuclear capabilities.

“Those that are attempting to blackmail us with nuclear weapons ought to know that the wind patterns may also flip of their path,” Putin mentioned.

Kirby on Wednesday mentioned there can be “extreme penalties” if Russia makes use of nuclear weapons in opposition to Ukraine and mentioned the U.S. at all times takes “this type of rhetoric severely.”

“It’s irresponsible rhetoric for a nuclear energy to speak that approach, nevertheless it’s not atypical for the way he’s been speaking the final seven months, and we take it severely. We’re monitoring as finest we will their strategic posture in order that if we’ve to, we will alter ours,” Kirby mentioned. “We’ve seen no indication that that’s required proper now.”

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