Russia says it is prepared to use nuclear weapons if threatened by the West
03/22/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a clear warning to the West that Russia is prepared for a nuclear war and that any attempts by the U.S. to send troops to Ukraine will be interpreted as a significant escalation of the current conflict and will invoke a response.

He made the comments in an interview on Russian TV ahead of the country's presidential elections. Putin secured a fifth term in office, which will give him a further six years in charge of the country.

Although it is not the first time that he has mentioned the possibility of a nuclear war scenario in the context of the current conflict with Ukraine, he added that he does not think it will reach that point just yet.

When asked if Russia was ready for a nuclear war, the 71-year-old leader said: “From a military-technical point of view, we are, of course, ready."

However, he added: "(In the U.S.) there are enough specialists in the field of Russian-American relations and in the field of strategic restraint. Therefore, I don't think that here everything is rushing to it (nuclear confrontation), but we are ready for this."

He did say, however, that if the U.S. were to carry out any nuclear tests, Russia could conduct tests of their own in response.

Although the White House has yet to comment on Putin’s latest remarks, it has stated in the past that there have not been any signs that Russia is about to use nuclear weapons despite what it termed “nuclear saber-rattling” by Putin. Some experts believe, however, that the warnings from Putin and others in the Russian government are simply propaganda aimed at intimidating the West.

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A senior Ukrainian presidential official, Mykhailo Podolyak, said that he thinks the comments are a sign Putin is scared he will lose the war. He told Reuters: "Realising that things are going the wrong way, Putin continues to use classic nuclear rhetoric. With the old Soviet hope - 'be scared and retreat!'."

Biden administration is pushing for more aid to Ukraine

The U.S. has been struggling to reach a consensus on how to handle the situation, particularly the question of whether to send even more aid to Ukraine. Russia currently controls around one fifth of Ukrainian territory and is rearming itself significantly faster than Ukraine, whose army is suffering from low morale and insufficient supplies.

The Biden administration wants to send additional support to Kiev, but many in the U.S. are angry about the amount of money that has already been spent to assist them – especially when you consider the fact that Ukraine is not faring well against Russia despite receiving a considerable amount of material and financial support from the U.S. and other Western nations.

Putin also said that he would like to hold talks about Ukraine, but the U.S. believes that he is not ready for serious discussions on the matter. The director of the CIA, William Burns, who previously served as an ambassador to Russia, recently told the Senate Intelligence Committee that it would be in America's best interest to wait until Ukraine is in a stronger position before any talks are held about a ceasefire.

For his part, Putin insists that he does not trust anyone and that he will require written security guarantees should there be a settlement. He stated: "I don't trust anyone, but we need guarantees, and guarantees must be spelled out, they must be such that we would be satisfied."

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