In a rare televised speech on Wednesday, Putin said that if Russia’s territorial integrity were threatened, the Kremlin “will certainly use all means at our disposal to defend Russia and its people. It’s not a bluff,” he warned.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ultimatum to the West will dramatically increase the risk of nuclear conflict, analysts and activists warn, while world leaders warn they are “reckless” and “irresponsible.” He condemns what he describes as a threat.
speak in rare tv speech Putin on Wednesday called up special forces for the war in Ukraine He also warned that if Russia’s territorial integrity were threatened, the Kremlin “will certainly use all means at its disposal to defend Russia and its people. It is not a bluff.”
Widely interpreted as a threat that Putin is ready to use nuclear weapons to escalate war Following a string of Ukrainian successes.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that the Kremlin has stepped up its nuclear arsenal and that any weapon in Russia’s arsenal, including strategic nuclear weapons, could be used to defend its territory.
Emerged as a pro-Moscow regional leader in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine announce a referendum About accession to Russia. Voting will take place in the Russian-controlled territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia. reportedly Approximately 15% of the Ukrainian territory.
It is widely believed that the outcome of the referendum had been predetermined by the Kremlin, and that the United States and its allies “fake.”
Political analysts say the Kremlin may view Ukrainian military actions against these four regions as an attack on Russia itself.
“Russian citizens can be confident that the territorial integrity, independence and freedom of the Motherland will be guaranteed,” Putin said.
“These statements suggest Russia’s first use in conventional warfare when the very existence of the state is threatened,” said Andrei Baklitsky, senior research fellow in the WMD and Other Strategic Weapons Program. It goes beyond the Russian nuclear theories that only exist,” he said. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Studies.
“This is a statement from someone who has the sole decision-making power over Russia’s nuclear arsenal, and it will have to be taken seriously,” Baklitsky said, adding that Putin’s reference to “territorial integrity” , pointed out that it is difficult to judge given that the Kremlin is planning to absorb nuclear weapons. His four regions of Ukraine.
“This does not mean that Russia will resort to nuclear use. This would be a truly world-changing decision,” Baklitsky said.
“And it is not clear whether such a move would lead to the desired outcome. [President] Putin … but extending the terms available in the ongoing war is a big gamble,” he added.
US President Joe Biden condemned President Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons and urging allied UN leaders to reject Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Wednesday, Biden accused the Kremlin of making “reckless” and “irresponsible” threats and said, “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” rice field.
His comments echo those of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. told Reuters on Wednesday The 30-nation Western Defense Alliance should remain calm and not “engage in the same reckless and dangerous nuclear rhetoric as Putin.”
Beatrice Finn, Nobel Laureate and Executive Director of the International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons, called on political leaders to renew their efforts to eliminate all nuclear weapons by signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. urged to do so.
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Putin has hinted at Russia’s nuclear arsenal at various points during the conflict with Ukraine. Still, Western leaders question whether Moscow will resort to deploying weapons of mass destruction.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the German media He said Wednesday that he doubts the world will allow Putin to use nuclear weapons.
Beatrice Finn, Nobel laureate and executive director of the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, told CNBC that Putin’s “incredibly dangerous and irresponsible” threats have dramatically increased the risk of escalating into a nuclear conflict. He said he was.
“The threat of using nuclear weapons lowers the threshold for using them,” Feen said in an email. “There has been no further discussion by politicians and commentators on the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons, without discussing the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of using so-called ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons.” debate has eroded the taboo against its use.”
Feen called on the international community to “clearly condemn any nuclear threat” and called on political leaders to renew their efforts to eliminate all nuclear weapons by signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. urged to do so. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Max Hess, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute think tank, described Putin’s nuclear threat as a “very important announcement.”
“Now the real threat from Putin’s speech is his readiness to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territories, including those he plans to annex,” he said on CNBC’s “Street Signs.” Europe”.
“This includes all of the Zaporizhia and Kherson provinces, as well as the traditional Donbass Donetsk and Luhansk regions. not.”
“What this means for areas still under Ukrainian control regarding Putin’s threats is yet to be said,” Hess added.
Timothy Asch, emerging markets strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said there would be “no turning back” and “no negotiations” if Putin used so-called tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
In such a scenario, Putin “will likely end ties with the West forever and China, India, South Africa, the BRICS and the rest of the non-aligned world will turn against Putin,” Asch said. The BRICS acronym refers to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) are “a deterrent,” Ashe said. “Once used, it actually strips you of its power.”