Scholz calls Putin’s announcements an ‘act of desperation’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday condemned President Vladimir Putin’s order for a partial military mobilization to support Russia’s war in Ukraine and the holding of annexation referendums as an “act of desperation”.

Speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Scholz insisted that Russia “cannot win this criminal war” in Ukraine and that Putin “with his latest decisions is making everything much worse”.

The German leader said Putin had “from the start completely underestimated the Ukrainian will to resist” as well as the “unity and determination” of Kyiv’s allies.

“Fake referendums” in four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine would “of course never be accepted” by the international community, Scholz said, and would therefore be “no justification” for “Russia’s intention, to know how to conquer the land of his neighbor by violence”. “.

“In the world we live in, law must prevail over force and force can never be stronger than law,” he said.

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck had previously called the partial military mobilization a “wrong and wrong step”.

“With the partial mobilization (Russia) is further intensifying this war of aggression which violates international law,” he tweeted.

“A bad and wrong step, which we strongly condemn… We continue to fully support Ukraine.”

Scholz believes the move signals that Russia’s campaign in Ukraine “is not going successfully,” his deputy spokesman Wolfgang Buechner told reporters.

Russia had to withdraw its troops from Kyiv at the start of the war and also did not achieve the success it had hoped for in the east, where Ukraine launched a lightning counter-offensive, the carrier noted. speech.

Ukraine has been “very effective in defending its integrity and sovereignty, not least thanks to the overwhelming support… from countries around the world, especially Germany,” he added.

Finance Minister Christian Lindner told a press conference that the mobilization indicated that the war would last a long time and “we have to adjust politically and economically”.

In a pre-recorded address to the nation early Wednesday, Putin announced mobilization and pledged to use “all available means” to protect Russian territory, after Moscow-held regions of Ukraine suddenly announced annexation referendums. .