Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed this Thursday (27) that he is not considering a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Ukraine or the West, after speculation about the Kremlin’s alleged plans to use weapons of mass destruction as part of the war that broke out in February against the neighboring country.
“No, I cannot imagine myself in the place of the Khrushchev. In no case,” Putin said during the plenary session of the Valdai debate club in the Moscow region, referring to the Cuban missile crisis, which recently completed 60 years.
The day before, Putin accompanied a massive nuclear test during the first maneuvers of his strategic forces since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president “recommended ” that Westerners study the country’s nuclear deterrence doctrine, which he himself approved in June 2020 and which does not contemplate a pre-emptive strike.
“That the read it”, he declared, adding that Russia will only use “weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, for the defense of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and to guarantee the security of the Russian people”.
However, analysts consider that the Russian initiative to annex four Ukrainian regions recently has precisely the objective of justifying a nuclear attack – when considering these areas Russian territory, the Kremlin will treat to Ukrainian actions to recover them as a disrespect to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, crossing the red line of its nuclear doctrine.
Putin said that “as long as nuclear weapons exist, the danger of their use will always exist”, although he recalled that the United States was the only country to use an atomic bomb against another non-atomic state, Japan, in August of 1945.
“We never speak directly about Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons. We only respond to statements made by the leaders of Western countries,” he claimed. However, the Russian president and members of his government have repeatedly mentioned the possibility since the beginning of the war without any provocation in this regard.
This Thursday, Putin also argued that “it makes no sense political nor military” that Russia uses a “dirty bomb” against Ukraine, which it accused of trying to manufacture this type of non-atomic explosive, but with radioactive elements.
Kyiv and the West deny this possibility and claim that Moscow is targeting a false flag operation by mentioning the matter (ie, staging an enemy attack with weapons to justify its use).
The Secretary of Defense US chief Lloyd Austin warned Putin on Thursday that the response from the international community would be “significant” if Moscow launches a nuclear strike.
Austin made the remarks during the presentation of the 2022 of the US National Defense, Nuclear Posture and Missile Defense Strategy.
About Posture n nuclear weapons, the document insists that “the United States will only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances” to defend its vital interests and those of its allies and partners.