After the nuclear threats it is time for diplomacy, from flexing muscles to words.

Thus Russian President Vladimir Putin returns to make statements to the Tass agency and state television.

Meanwhile, to address the thorny issue of referendums that have alarmed Western democracies.

For Putin: "The results of the referendums" in favor of the annexation to Moscow of the four Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia "will not be questioned" because the consultations "were perfectly transparent, convincing and objective". 

On the other hand, however, he wanted to reassure the population.

Three million Ukrainians live in the Russian Federation and "they are treated on an equal footing with the Russians," the Russian president said during a meeting organized with education sector operators on the occasion of Teacher's Day and broadcast on state television.

"We respect the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian language", he said pointing the finger at the restrictions on the use of the Russian language approved in recent years in Ukraine, "Russia would never have allowed what Kiev has allowed with the Russian language" .

And to stop the bleeding of young people fleeing Russia, he said he had signed a decree making "corrections" to the partial mobilization announced on 21 September.

Speaking on state television, Putin said the decree will postpone enrollment for certain categories of students, including recent graduates and students enrolled in accredited private universities.