Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds an open lesson "Talking about important things", attended by the winners of Olympiads and competitions in the field of culture, art, science and sports among school students at the museum and theater-educational complex in Kaliningrad on September 1, 2022. Photo by Alexey Maishev/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

With Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing a "partial mobilization" in his country on Wednesday, speculations abound that he is ramping up his invasion of Ukraine, which may include the use of nuclear weapons.

In his speech, Putin said that he would use “all the means at our disposal” if Russia’s territory and integrity is jeopardized.

"Our country also has various means of destruction and in some components more modern than those of the NATO countries, and if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people," Putin said.

He also mentioned that those who would threaten them with nuclear weapons “should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction.”

While Putin said that this is "not a bluff," a US official saw no signs of a heightened nuclear threat coming from Russia despite the veiled threats of its leader.

“We have heard him before, wave around the nuclear card, and we heard it again in his speech today, and in fact, the language and formula he used today is quite similar to how he's spoken before,” the official said as quoted by CNN.

Despite this, President Joe Biden and his officials are still on guard should Moscow decide to escalate its offensives.

“We are watching carefully to see for any signs of potential escalation, and we are sending very clear and strong messages to Russia about the consequences of escalation,” the official said.

In Biden’s speech during the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, he condemned the mobilization order by Putin and told the organization that the world should see how outrageous the acts of the Russian government are.

"Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened, but no one threatened Russia -- and no one other than Russia sought conflict," Biden said in his speech.

On the other hand, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Putin’s declarations, especially the mobilization, as an “act of despair.”

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves his presidential plane during the welcoming ceremony at the airport, on July 19, 2022 in Tehran Iran. Russian President Putin and his Turkish counterpart Erdogan arrived in Iran for the summit. Photo by Contributor/Getty Images

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