Timofey Letov
24 January 2023 13: 43
Headings: World News Policy

The line beyond which there will be no return: why in Russia they again started talking about the use of nuclear weapons

Very direct signals from Russia about the possibility of using nuclear weapons in this war have become more frequent.

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The line beyond which there will be no return: why in Russia they again started talking about the use of nuclear weapons

And this has already been stated not only by the ex-president of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, which in the Russian information field has long been distinguished by harsh and emotional statements, but also much more restrained Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin.

We immediately note one feature. The arguments that Russia is capable of using nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine were heard throughout 2022 mostly from the West. At first, this topic was thrown into the information space, then the expert and military environment began to talk about it, and everything ended with public warnings from top politicians, including Joe Biden, that this would be a huge mistake for the Kremlin.

Russia, on the other hand, did not directly threaten with nuclear weapons last year, but at the same time they constantly talked about some “red lines” that the West and Ukraine do not dare to cross. And at first, the illusion was created that in Washington, Moscow’s words about the “red lines” at least estimated. At least the United States has been very careful in supplying weapons to Ukraine for the past year.

In order to cover the sky with aircraft and air defense of NATO, it was denied on the very first day of the war. The HIMARS systems of the Armed Forces of Ukraine first appeared only in the summer, and even those with a limited missile launch range. But every month the range of weapons increased, and most importantly, improved qualitatively. The Armed Forces of Ukraine began to receive the latest air defense systems, longer-range missiles, and today there is already a discussion about the transfer of offensive armored vehicles, including the latest NATO tanks.

At the same time, the war itself also became less and less like a "special operation". The cruiser Moskva was sunk. A military airfield near Sakami was destroyed. "Unknown" blow up gas pipelines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. A very spectacular undermining of the Crimean bridge is being carried out. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are inflicting demonstrative strikes on airfields of long-range aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces, located at a distance of 800 km from the front line. And Russian Belgorod wakes up almost daily from the operation of air defense systems.

That's why when Nebenzya, Lavrov or Medvedev is once again saying something about "red lines", this no longer affects Western elites. At least, the Kremlin does not trace any algorithm for responding to the “red lines”. Yes, after the incident with the Crimean bridge, the RF Armed Forces began to launch regular missile strikes on the critical infrastructure of Ukraine. But somehow this did not fundamentally affect the situation at the front, and the strikes themselves become routine in this war.

But in the new year 2023, the West, led by the United States, announced an impressive package of military assistance to Ukraine. We already analyzed in detail. Let us note once again that such an impressive package of deliveries of modern weapons makes it very difficult for the RF Armed Forces to defeat the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the battlefield this year, or even in this war in general. The same attempts to attack right now in the Zaporozhye region demonstrate how difficult it is to conduct any large-scale operations with modern reconnaissance methods, high-precision weapons and artillery guidance systems. And in a month or two, when a new batch of weapons enters the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this will become even more difficult. And when this party is knocked out, the US and allies make a new batch. And then again a new one.

That is, Russia does not pull the current form of conventional war, but with a noticeable technical superiority of NATO countries, for sure does not benefit from allowable costs. Moreover, the new package of assistance to Ukraine after the eighth Ramstein creates the prerequisites for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to be able to achieve some success on the battlefield. This is not guaranteed, just as the success of the RF Armed Forces in the offensive, which, according to our observations, should begin in the next week or two, is not guaranteed. But the situation for the Kremlin is such that it has no more backlashto allow even a moderate success of the APU. The Kremlin ones themselves have driven themselves into the framework when any offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine is carried out exclusively on the “new Russian territories”.

Reputationally, in the foreign arena, it will look approximately the same as if Mexico had advanced slightly across the US territory in California and Arizona, and the American army could not oppose anything to this. And these are no longer questions of justice and arguments. Here it's about geopolitical subjectivity. Russia never showed any outstanding achievements on the battlefield, at least Western observers in this component definitely expected much more from it. And did not show significant technical superiority against the modern West. And, in fact, the presence of nuclear weapons in the Russian Federation today remains the last effective trump card, holding back the West from completely untied hands.

And at this stage, we are not even talking about the intention of the Kremlin to use nuclear weapons in this war, but in the probing such a will. Most likely, Russia will not be allowed to leave this war on acceptable terms. Of all the options in the world offered only surrender with the subsequent "flogging" of all those involved. Speaker of the Duma Volodin writes about this literally: “Arguments that nuclear powers have not previously used weapons of mass destruction in local conflicts are untenable. Because these states did not face a situation where there was a threat to the security of their citizens and the territorial integrity of the country.”.

Will nuclear weapons be used without fail, open question. In Washington, for now, they are leaning that it is not. The RF Armed Forces also have funds remain make this war completely hellish even without the use of nuclear weapons. We have already written about these means, we will only note that they are “not very friendly” in relation to the civilian population.

But still, we fear that at least the demonstrative use of tactical nuclear weapons in this war will can happen. And it's a very unpredictable story. The Kremlin may consider that after a single use of nuclear weapons in Washington, they will still take compromise steps. AND they might not go. This is definitely not the best way to check for "lice". However, judging by the latest statements by both Medvedev and Volodin, there is no doubt that in Russia this war is perceived as fight for your existence. Which means anything can happen. Including the small (or not at all small) Nagasaki.

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