Putin's 'last-resort' nuclear bluff exposed
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Vladimir Putin has been warned launching a nuclear strike against the West would mean the “destruction of Russia” and would be an “act of suicide”. On September 21, during a national address to the nation, Putin chillingly warned he could use nuclear weapons if his country’s territory comes under threat. He reminded Western powers that Russia has plenty of modern weapons of destruction in its arsenal, warning: “I am not bluffing.”
The horror warning was the biggest escalation of the war in Ukraine from Putin since Russian troops began the invasion of their eastern neighbour seven months ago on February 24.
But the Russian President has been told his threats over nuclear weapons are a sign of “pure desperation” from the Kremlin, who have come to the realisation they are losing the war.
Putin is “lashing out from a position of weakness and desperation” and knows if he resorts to using nuclear weapons against the West, it would mean “the end of Russia”.
Nile Gardiner, a foreign policy expert and former aide to Margaret Thatcher, told Express.co.uk: “Putin talks tough and almost every week, he’s issuing threats.
“This is pure desperation from the Kremlin – they are losing the war and Putin is having to press-gang hundreds of thousands of civilians to fight in the war.
“This is a sinking Russian dictatorship. He is lashing out from a position of weakness and desperation. Putin knows full well if he uses nuclear weapons, it’s the end of Russia.
“Any nuclear strike from Putin against the West would result in the destruction of Russia, it’s as simple as that. It’s been the reality since the Cold War.
“Putin understands that – he’s not going to launch nuclear strikes. It’s sabre-rattling and an act of suicide for Russia to launch a nuclear strike.”
The comments come after Colonel Richard Kemp, a retired British Army officer who served from 1977 to 2006, warned Putin’s threats over the use of nuclear weapons could spectacularly backfire on him, as his own military might even lead to his downfall.
He wrote for The Telegraph: “Deterring those who are responsible for carrying out Putin’s orders, and who themselves want to survive, is now critical and could literally save the world if an attack order is disobeyed.
“Refusal by his subordinates to implement instructions for a nuclear strike would also spell the end for Putin. He knows that and will not issue the order unless he is confident it will be executed, hence the need for American messaging to hit home.”
Colonel Kemp warned “Putin’s end may anyway come sooner rather than later” as many political and military elites in Russia are now starting to see “they are backing the wrong horse” – particularly following his partial mobilisation plans.
The retired British Army officer added: “Just as Washington’s communications with Russia’s senior leadership is vital for staving off escalation, so is Western diplomacy among Moscow’s allies, persuading them to toughen their own stance against Putin’s nuclear menacing.
“The message here is not for Putin, since he is hoist by his own petard and cannot climb down unless Ukraine comes to terms, but for the political and military elites, who may be able to kick the ladder out from under him.”
Western powers reacted furiously to Putin’s chilling nuclear threats, with the US warning him of “catastrophic consequences” if he goes through with it.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ programme: “If Russia crosses this line, there will be catastrophic consequences for Russia. The United States will respond decisively.”
He didn’t elaborate on what a US response might be, but confirmed the country has privately “spelled out in greater detail exactly what that would mean” to Moscow.
During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, US President Joe Biden also accused Putin of making “overt nuclear threats against Europe”.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss also told CNN in an interview days after the warning from Putin: “We should not be listening to his sabre-rattling and his bogus threats.
“Instead, what we need to do is continue to put sanctions on Russia and continue to support the Ukrainians.”
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