That the United States should be forced public Russia warningand in tougher terms privatenot using nuclear weapons is an indication of how dangerous it is battle for Ukraine has become – and how much more risky it can be.
The war is in an important new phase. Kyiv’s forces have won victories in the east using billions of dollars in Western-supplied weapons and Russian President Putin responded by pouring thousands of other men to the front line.
Faced with growing political pressure at home, isolation abroad and humiliation on the battlefield, the Russian leader last week upended his nuclear capabilities by warning that he could use use all available weapons systems if you consider Russia’s territorial integrity to be at stake.
Putin’s rhetoric was a reminder that the better the war goes for Ukraine, the more the West needs to keep its spirits up, especially if the Russian leader becomes more willing and tries to tries to intimidate its enemies with Russia’s best lever – its nuclear arsenal.
Many Western observers believe that Putin is deceiving and that there are strategic reasons for Moscow to stop before this fate. There are no public reports that the Kremlin is preparing its nuclear arsenal on the battlefield for use or that it has changed the posture of international strategic missiles. And Putin has played the nuclear card before in the conflict in an apparent attempt to frighten the Western public and break support for Kyiv in the transatlantic alliance.
But at the same time, the Russian leader has poured himself into a war he cannot afford to lose but that is getting worse for Russia, as last week’s partial nationwide mobilization showed. . He’s in a corner, a fact that could explain his return to nuclear scare tactics. And while Putin’s political standing doesn’t appear to be immediately threatened, he is facing growing dissent at home and is seemingly consumed by anti-American anger. and the West, even for him.
Putin is guided by a sense of historic mission rooted in his desire to restore respect for Russia as a great civilization. He has shown callous indifference towards the lives of people and civilians in Ukraine. Such conditions mean that clear strategic thinking and rational decisions cannot be disregarded, especially since the merciless Russian leader’s sense of prudence has abandoned him with leadership. his recklessness in the war in Ukraine.
You can read Collinson’s full analysis here.