Chatham House foreign policy think tank who are a source of independent analysis and trusted dialogue have warned that Vladimir Putin could order a “nuclear strike” on Ukraine if he cannot claim a “conventional victory.”
Putin would most likely resort to a “powerful destructive attack” to avoid “admission of a clear defeat” in Ukraine as he believes this would be a victory.
Shortly after the start of the war in 2022 Putin warned that Russia “will use all the means at our disposal” to defend themselves saying “this is not a bluff.”
Since that warning the West has been providing billions of dollars in weaponry to Ukraine and the Kremlin has constantly been warning to stop helping Kyiv or they will strike.
A leading Russian expert Keir Giles has said to stop the threat of a nuclear attack the West needs to step up and remind Putin that there will be huge consequences and said the possibility of a strike cannot be ruled out.
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Giles wrote, “A nuclear strike could be ordered if there is no longer any possibility of claiming conventional victory and a powerful destructive attack on Ukraine is perceived as the only means of avoiding admission of a clear defeat.
“One or more nuclear strikes could form part of a scorched earth response intended simply to cause misery and destruction in Ukraine in recognition of Russian failure to conquer it. The rationale being that if Russia can’t have Ukraine, nobody can.
“This would mirror, on a vastly greater scale, the behaviour of individual Russian soldiers and units when presented with the reality of life in Ukraine, where rather than aspiring to it themselves, they seek to destroy it.”
Giles then warned that a possible nuclear war has “disturbing aspects of Russia’s death cult and the idea that a ‘purifying apocalypse’ is something to be embraced.”
The Chatham House Russian expert added, “Western powers were scrambling to appease Moscow based on just the threat of invasion.”
Giles, the author of Russia’s War on Everybody: And What it Means for You, continued, “But Putin was intent on invading anyway regardless of whether this was seen outside the Kremlin as a rational step or not.
“In short, the argument that Russia would not use nuclear weapons because it would clearly not be in Russia’s interest to do so falls down on the example, once again, of the invasion of Ukraine.”
He said, “In particular it must be made clear in entirely unambiguous terms that any use of nuclear weapons, whether tactical or not, in Ukraine or beyond, would bring consequences that would be devastating not just to Russia but to Putin personally.
“Given Putin’s understandable tendency to disregard Western words and be guided instead by Western actions, the clarity in messaging must be reinforced by discernible indicators of preparedness to follow through on it.”
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