As Vladimir Putin’s game of chicken with the US and its allies on Ukraine progresses into a new round of nuclear threats, the small arms his officials have called on him to use are at critical hours or even days of warning. Can be given.
While Russia’s long-range missiles and bombers are kept on constant alert, ready to fire within minutes to ensure they are not destroyed by a pre-emptive attack, low-yield tactical The weapons are locked in about a dozen warehouses across Russia and it will take time to deliver them to the launchers.
“At a certain stage of readiness, the weapons are taken out of storage facilities and if necessary moved to another location for a few days. العاب كازينو مجاني This will be detected by satellites or other means,” said the United Nations Institute. تكساس هولدم Nuclear security expert Pavel Podvig said. For disarmament research in Geneva. That’s exactly what will happen.
So far, US and European officials have said there is no sign of any such preparation and that nuclear threats are purely rhetorical. But as the Russian military continues to lose ground to a Ukrainian retaliation – which the Russian president formally claimed last week as his own – the Kremlin has sought to sow fear again with signs that further Increases may include weapons that have not been used in combat. 1945.
These threats are part of a broader effort by the Kremlin to intimidate the US and Europe into cutting support for Ukraine and forcing Kyiv to negotiate Moscow’s terms. Europeans braced for a hard winter after an unprecedented energy crisis triggered by Russia’s gas supply cuts, President Putin sought to widen divisions within Europe at the cost of continued support for Ukraine so that Trying to change public opinion in major states as tensions builds up.
His decision to call in 300,000 reservists to shore up Russia’s struggling army and the hasty annexation of the occupied territories was followed by a fiery speech accusing the West of “Satanism”, to the Kremlin leader. were the latest attempts to show a commitment to fighting. to finish.
The explosions that caused leaks in major pipelines under the Baltic Sea last week were described by the US as deliberate sabotage that could undermine other parts of the continent’s energy infrastructure.
However, so far Kyiv’s allies have not relented in their commitment to continue the supply of weapons.
Many in Moscow are calling on President Putin to escalate the threats even further.
“Fear is the only thing that can stop our adversary,” Dmitry Treinin, an expert on foreign and defense policy advising the Kremlin, said in comments published on the group’s site last week. America and Europe. “Back the fear.”
Russia’s strategic nuclear stockpile ahead of US | Number of non-strategic nuclear weapons
Britain’s Defense Minister Ben Wallace demonstrated Western confidence on Sunday, saying: “We think it is highly unlikely” that President Putin will use nuclear weapons, which the British described as Russian President in meetings with Indian and Chinese leaders. Spoke to. last month.
Vladimir Putin has been vague in publicly saying that Russia will use “all weapons systems available to us” to defend its territory, including the newly annexed parts of Ukraine. He said the US “set a precedent” by using atomic bombs against Japan in World War II, a clear indication that it would no longer see any Russian use as breaking a taboo. Over the weekend, a major lieutenant was even more outspoken, calling for the deployment of “low-yield nuclear weapons” after the latest debacle faced by Russian troops.
Russia has an estimated 1,900 pre-Cold War warheads that are still in storage, as well as those needed to deliver missiles and aircraft. While the use of a nuclear weapon may not be enough to turn the tide on the battlefield, where the front runs for more than 1,200 kilometres, it would be useful for Vladimir Putin to attempt to shock Ukraine and its Western allies into retreat. There may be a way.
If the Russian leader decides to use such a weapon, he will likely select a military target in Ukraine as a demonstration strike, according to a person close to the Defense Ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity. To discuss matters which are not public.
Evaluation control of terrain in Ukraine |
“There is a growing temptation for the Kremlin to use its last resort” in a commentary, Natia Cescuria, an associate fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, with its troops struggling as the invasion enters its eighth month. Is. Nevertheless, any use would be the first time nuclear weapons would be used to gain advantage from attacking another country.
Russia’s tactical weapons are relatively large, with a minimum yield of 10 kilotons or 10,000 tons of TNT. It would be two-thirds the size of the 15 kiloton atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
“These are not small atoms,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the US-based Arms Control Association. “It will be worse than anything we’ve seen since Hiroshima.” That explosion destroyed 12 square kilometers (5 sq mi) of the Japanese city, killing 70,000 people outright and exposing tens of thousands of others to radiation.
Nevertheless, a low-yield weapon detonating at a relatively high altitude would reduce the damage caused by a nuclear attack, keeping civilian casualties to a minimum, the Royal United Services Institute said in a report released earlier this year. will gain help in. “In this context, limited nuclear use as a means of coercion may seem less strange,” it said. But it could still expose Russian territory to radioactive fallout without achieving the goal of intimidating Kyiv’s supporters to retreat.
The US warned of a “catastrophic” reaction to any such move, but did not say what it would mean.
Ben Hodges, the former commander of the US military in Europe, said in a media interview on September 21 that the US would destroy the Black Sea Fleet or Russian bases in Crimea not with nuclear strikes but with conventional retaliation. This would still mean a direct confrontation between former Cold War rivals which in turn could potentially provoke a Russian nuclear reaction against the US.
So far, the US has been very careful to avoid direct conflict with Russian forces.
Kimball said, “Once nuclear weapons are used, even in a so-called limited way, there is no guarantee that both sides can control nuclear use and it can quickly become a full-fledged nuclear weapon.” Will not escalate into nuclear conflict.”
Yevgeny Buzynsky, a retired Russian general who now heads the PIR Center, a Moscow think tank, said the Kremlin has several ways to move forward and get its message across without risking Armageddon. Russia could intensify attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, destroying more power plants, as well as targeting railroads and other facilities used to carry US and European weapons.
“Nuclear weapons are not needed to defeat Ukraine,” he said.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)