For weeks now, there have been fears regarding just how far Vladimir Putin would be wiling to take his invasion of Ukraine, and whether or he even had any plans on surviving the war himself.
Putin, who is believed to be dying of terminal cancer by unnamed Pentagon sources, doesn’t appear to have any sort of exit strategy here. He won’t be rejoining the international diplomatic community any time soon, and he’s wearing thin whatever patience the western world and NATO had left for him.
Worse still, it appears as though the Kremlin is working up a false justification for employing nuclear weapons in the conflict.
Russia on Tuesday once again escalated the threat of nuclear warfare amid its illegal campaign in Ukraine by alleging that with the support of the U.S. Kyiv is developing nuclear weapons.
“The need for demilitarization is due to the fact that Ukraine, saturated with weapons, poses a threat to Russia, including from the point of view of the development and use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons,” Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, said according to state-owned news agencies.
Russia’s military doctrine allows for the preemptive use of nuclear weapons by Russia, should the nation be “threatened” with extermination. If the Kremlin is suggesting that the phony nukes in Ukraine could pose a risk to Moscow, then the option of a nuclear strike will suddenly be on the table.
Ukraine saw an opportunity to drag Russia in the press.
Ukrainian foreign minister Dymtro Kuleba said Lavrov’s comments were a last-ditch effort to “scare the world off supporting Ukraine” as Moscow has failed to achieve any military victories over the country despite more than 60 days of fighting.
“This only means Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine,” he said in a post on Twitter. “Therefore, the world must double down on supporting Ukraine so that we prevail and safeguard European and global security.”
The use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would almost certainly cross a line for many of the nations who’ve thus far abstained from involving themselves in the conflict.