BERLIN (AA) – The partial mobilization of Russian military for the Ukraine war is “an act of despair,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday.
“Russia cannot win this criminal war,” he told reporters in New York, where world leaders have gathered for the UN General Assembly.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization earlier on Wednesday, calling up 300,000 reservists to join the army.
He also asserted that Russia will use “all means at its disposal” if its territorial integrity is threatened, which was widely interpreted as a nuclear warning to the West.
Scholz said Putin made a serious mistake by attacking Ukraine, and his latest decision would make things even worse.
“Right from the beginning, he completely underestimated the resistance of the Ukrainians, but also the unity and determination of the friends of Ukraine,” he said.
Scholz claimed that Putin failed to conquer Ukraine by military force, and is now trying to annex parts of the country by staging “sham referendums.”
“These sham referendums will never be accepted, not only by the Ukrainian people, but also by the international community,” he stressed.
“In the world we live in, the law must triumph over violence, and violence cannot be stronger than the law.”
On Tuesday, Ukraine’s separatist Luhansk and Donetsk regions, along with Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, announced a decision to hold referendums on joining Russia on Sept. 23-27.