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Vladimir Putin threatens nuclear escalation. Reactions in the US, UK and Germany

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This is not the first time we have heard irresponsible rhetoric from Vladimir Putin, said US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. German foreign affairs and defense experts warn not to be intimidated by the Russian leader. According to the British media, Putin’s speech indicates his increasing confidence that the war in Ukraine is starting to go his way.

– This is not the first time we have seen Vladimir Putin’s irresponsible rhetoric. This is not the way the leader of a nuclear-armed state should speak, a State Department spokesman said USA Matthew Miller, commenting during a press briefing on the Russian president’s threats contained in his Thursday speech.

– We have communicated Russia already in the past, privately and directly, what the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons will be. However, there are no signs that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons and we will monitor it closely, he added.

German experts: let’s not be intimidated

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CDU defense expert Roderich Kiesewetter spoke out against reducing support for Ukraine because of Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons.

You simply “don’t let yourself be intimidated,” Kiesewetter told RND. “We should not expect the use of nuclear weapons, this has long been clarified with Putin by China and the US (…). We should not become victims and disciples of his rhetoric.”

Instead, we must be “clearly and decisively prepared to deliver more and draw no red lines.” This applies in particular to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose reticence Kiesewetter described as “disgraceful.”

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag Michael Roth (SPD), also warned against changing policy towards Ukraine after Putin’s speech. He repeated “his well-known accusations and threats against the West.” – We cannot let this impress us, Roth told RND.


British media on Putin’s threats

Sky News’ Moscow correspondent, Diana Magnay, also emphasized that it is not the first time that Putin has threatened nuclear escalation, which does not prevent him from blaming the West for the increase in tension.

“When he accuses the West of certain behavior, it is often because he himself behaves in such a way. The question is always how much of it is a bluff and how much is not, which in itself is the essence of nuclear deterrence. This is a game that Putin knows how to play.” play very well,” she wrote on Sky News.

The Financial Times notes that Putin’s nuclear threats on Thursday were the most direct since the beginning war in Ukraine. But experts cited by this newspaper also believe that the likelihood of Russia using nuclear weapons in reality is low.

The Times noted that Putin’s speech was, in fact, very predictable. “Before Putin’s speech, analysts predicted that he would repeat familiar topics, from Russia’s ‘heroic’ fight in Ukraine, to the perfidy and cultural degeneration of the West and the rapid development of Russian weapons. The first hour confirmed these suspicions,” the daily wrote.

The Daily Telegraph writes in a commentary that nuclear threats are calculated to discourage the West from further helping Ukraine. “He addressed the specter of (unrealistic) NATO involvement in Ukraine with his usual mix of historical analogies and nuclear threats,” says Jane McGlynn, a columnist for this newspaper.

“Referencing past interventions on Russian soil, Putin’s message is twofold: Ukraine is Russian land, and Russia is ready to escalate to the highest stakes, implicitly threatening nuclear conflict as a deterrent to Western intervention. This is undoubtedly a message intended for de-escalationists close to power in Washington and Berlin,” he says.

Vladimir Putin delivered his speech. He does not intend to end the war, he reminds us that he has nuclear weaponsMaksym Szipenkov/PAP/EPA

British experts on Putin’s threats

Military analyst Sean Bell said on Sky News that Putin’s threats are not as serious as they may seem at first glance, because he has made similar threats in the past.

“Since the West became involved in supplying weapons, Russia has been saber-rattling about the consequences of a potential escalation towards nuclear conflict, but apparently these have been largely empty threats so far,” Bell said. But he added that the speech reflected Putin’s “growing confidence” in the direction of the war, as evidenced by his “showoff” of Russian military assets.

Andrei Kolesnikov, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Moscow, said that despite Putin’s rhetoric, the Kremlin is afraid of a nuclear conflict, and nuclear blackmail has become more of a ritual than a real threat for Putin.

In turn, Kirill Rogov from the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna, said that Russia’s recent successes on the front mean that Putin is less willing to consider the use of nuclear weapons than in the earlier phase of the war, when failures meant “an existential threat to the Putin regime.”

Putin threatens nuclear escalation

Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Thursdaythat Western countries “must understand that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory.” – All this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and the destruction of civilization. Don’t they understand this? – Putin said.

He referred to the president’s words in this way France Emmanuel Macron on the possibility of introducing NATO troops into Ukraine. Putin announced that the consequences of this would be tragic because Russia has weapons that can hit targets on its territory. NATO countries.

Author:asty / prpb

Main photo source: DMITRY ASTAKHOV/PAP/EPA

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