Putin Warns Again That Russia Is Ready to Use Nuclear Weapons If Its Sovereignty Is Threatened

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons if its sovereignty or independence is threatened, issuing another blunt warning to the West just days before an election in which he’s all but certain to secure another six-year term.

The Russian leader has repeatedly talked about his readiness to use nuclear weapons since launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. The most recent such threat came in his state-of-the-nation address last month, when he warned the West that deepening its involvement in the fighting in Ukraine would risk a nuclear war.

Asked in an interview with Russian state television released early Wednesday if he has ever considered using battlefield nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Putin responded that there has been no need for that. He also noted that he doesn’t think that the world is heading for a nuclear war, describing U.S. President Joe Biden as a veteran politician who fully understands the possible dangers of escalation.

Still, the remarks appeared to be a message to the West that he’s prepared to use all means to protect his gains in Ukraine.

Putin said that in line with the country’s security doctrine, Moscow is ready to use nuclear weapons in case of a threat to “the existence of the Russian state, our sovereignty and independence.”

“All that is written in our strategy, we haven’t changed it,” he said.

In an apparent reference to NATO allies that support Kyiv, he also declared that “the nations that say they have no red lines regarding Russia should realize that Russia won’t have any red lines regarding them either.”

Lithuania’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, recently lamented that the West too often constrains itself with self-imposed “red lines” regarding Russia. He also welcomed a comment by French President Emmanuel Macron that the possibility of Western troops being sent to Ukraine couldn’t be ruled out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is interviewed by Rossiya Segodnya International Media Group Director General Dmitry Kiselev, back to a camera, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

In the wake of recent battlefield gains, Putin argued that Ukraine and its Western allies will eventually have to accept a deal to end the war on Russian terms.

“It shouldn’t be a break for the enemy to rearm, but a serious talk involving the guarantees of security for the Russian Federation,” he said.

Putin said that a recent spike in Ukrainian drone attacks deep inside Russia is part of efforts to derail the country’s three-day presidential election, which starts Friday and which he’s set to win by a landslide, given his near total crackdown on dissent and tight control over Russia’s political system.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Service on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, emergency services personnel work at an apartment building destroyed by a Russian attack in Sumy, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP)

Russian authorities reported another major attack by Ukrainian drones early Wednesday. The Defense Ministry said air defenses downed 58 drones over six regions. One of the drones hit an oil refinery in the Ryazan region, injuring at least two people and sparking a fire. Another was downed as it was approaching a refinery near St. Petersburg.

Along with drone attacks on facilities deep inside Russian territory, Ukrainian forces have launched a series of successful attacks on Russia’s naval and air assets in the Black Sea region with sea drones and missiles. The strikes have crippled Moscow’s naval capability and forced it to limit its operations in the Black Sea.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

©2024 Global Security Wire. Use Our Intel. All Rights Reserved. Washington, D.C.