The Kremlin’s recent statements on nuclear weapons are more specific than previous ones and come at a time when Russia is losing on the battlefield due to a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The United States has been sending private messages to Moscow for months, warning the Russian leadership of the serious consequences that could follow use of nuclear weapons.
He writes about it The Washington Post citing US officials.
The Biden administration has generally chosen to keep warnings about the consequences of a nuclear strike intentionally vague, according to U.S. officials, leaving the Kremlin worried about how Washington might respond. In the world of nuclear deterrence, this is called “strategic ambiguity.”
It is noted that the content of the messages, as well as who transmitted them, is not disclosed, but they were sent through the State Department.
It was also unclear whether the United States had sent new messages since Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated the nuclear threat in a speech on September 21, but a senior US official said messages had been sent consistently in recent months.
Biden administration officials stressed that this was not the first time Russian leadership had threatened to use nuclear weapons since the war began on February 24, and said there was no indication that Russia was moving its nuclear weapons in preparation for an imminent strike.
However, recent statements by the Russian leadership are more specific than previous comments, and come at a time when Russia is losing on the battlefield due to the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
While the Kremlin’s previous statements appeared to be aimed at warning the United States and its allies against helping Ukraine too much, Putin’s latest comments suggest Russia is considering using nuclear weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine to freeze gains and force Kyiv and its supporters into submission, said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a nonproliferation advocacy group in Washington.
“Everyone has to admit that this is one of, if not the biggest, major episode in which nuclear weapons could be used in decades. The consequences of even a so-called ‘limited nuclear war’ would be absolutely catastrophic,” Kimball said.
For years, U.S. experts have worried that Russia could use small tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called “battlefield nukes,” to end a conventional war on its terms — a strategy sometimes called “escalation to de-escalation.”
WP notes that the Biden administration will face a crisis if Russia uses small nuclear weapons in Ukraine, which is not a US treaty ally. Any direct U.S. military response against Russia would risk a wider war between nuclear-armed superpowers — the avoidance of which the Biden administration has made its Ukraine policy priority #1.
Nuclear Blackmail of Russia: Will Putin Use Weapons of Mass Destruction?
The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly threatened Ukraine and the world with the use of nuclear weapons.
In particular, in a speech dedicated to the announcement of partial mobilization in the Russian Federation, Putin threatened the world the use of nuclear weapons: “There is nuclear blackmail against Russia… Everyone who tries to blackmail us in this way should know that the wind rose can turn in their direction as well.” He also added that he was not bluffing when he promised to use all the means available in Russia.
The next day, Dmytro Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, also threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend the annexed Ukrainian territories, which the Russian Federation will consider its own after the fake referendums. According to him, to protect these territories, Russia can use not only its newly mobilized forces, but also “any Russian weapon, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons that use new principles,” referring to hypersonic weapons.
And Russian propagandists do not stop “pouring” threats. For example, Volodymyr spoke in one of his such speeches Solovyov threatened the whole world with nuclear war.
At the same time, Ukrainian military experts believe that such attacks by the Russian Federation are no more than nuclear blackmailaimed at bringing Ukraine to the negotiating table and forcing it to agree to the Kremlin’s terms.
However, for example, the advisor of the Office of the President, Oleksiy Arestovych, believes that Russia really is may resort to a nuclear attack on the territory of Ukraine. In his opinion, this probability has increased, but it is unlikely to develop into a total nuclear war. However, he is convinced that Russia’s use of tactical nuclear weapons will not stop or frighten the Ukrainian military, but will make them even more angry and motivated.
The opinion that the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is seriously considering the possibility of nuclear war, said Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Vadym Skibitskyi. “Maybe Russia will use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. They will try to stop our offensive activities and destroy our state,” he said.
Although on the eve of Putin’s speech, Russian State Duma deputy Andriy Gurulyov said that the target for Russia’s nuclear strikes will not be Ukraine, and Germany and Great Britain. According to this deputy, Moscow is “not interested” in using nuclear weapons against Ukraine, because in his fantasies, Russians “will live here.”
You may also be interested in news: