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War in Ukraine. The eloquent rhetoric of Russian propaganda. Evidence of weakness

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The struggles in Ukraine have reinforced the importance of the nuclear scare as an insurance policy. Moscow's regularly renewed threats were not and are not an expression of strength and self-confidence – on the contrary. Let us note a certain pattern – blackmail by Putin and his people appeared every time Russia ran into trouble on the front – its conventional forces again “gave up” – or when the West crossed further “red lines”, providing the Ukrainian army with more advanced weapons. And although these screams proved the Kremlin's powerlessness, they also turned out to be an effective tool. They left a shadow of uncertainty as to the determination of the Russians, who were technically capable of launching a nuclear attack not only on Ukraine, but also on NATO members.

If it weren't for this uncertainty (the essence of the above-mentioned policy), cooperation North Atlantic Alliance with Ukraine it would probably look different. In the worst-case scenario for Moscow, there would be an open armed confrontation with the West, which – given the differences in conventional potentials – would end in Russia's defeat.

In the light version, the lack of risk of nuclear escalation could persuade Western leaders to hand over significantly to Kiev a larger number and a wider range of heavy weapons, aircraft and missiles, which would mean further problems for the invasion army, and most likely also its destruction.

Serious trouble

Such calculations were made in many government offices, and it became clear to the rogue regimes that only one's own “atom” ensures the appropriate level of security. This is therefore to be expected in the coming years intensification of nuclear programs and attempts to obtain illegally broni “A” by various state entities.

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Apart from Russian, an example remains instructive North Korea. Even though it is a disgustingly oppressive dictatorship, one is afraid to touch it because the consequences for the region – in fact a small peninsula – would be dramatic.

In December 2023 I met with a retired South Korean army general. The main topic of the conversation was the cooperation of the industries of our countries, but I took advantage of the opportunity and asked for… assessment of the capabilities of Kim Jong Un's troops.

– For us their only real concern is their nuclear warheads – I heard. In such a context, it is easier to understand the actions of China, which in 2022 has a relatively modest resource of 350 nuclear warheads. From the data Pentagon it follows that Beijing intends to double its arsenal by 2027and three years later they had a thousand missiles at their disposal.

The mystery surrounding General Lebiedź

Poles are also familiar with thinking in terms of nuclear security. In the first half of the 1990s, president Lech Walesa he suggested several times the need to purchase a limited number of nuclear weapons. Such an operation could be carried out in Ukraine – secretly, although legally – or completely illegally in Russia.

Military intelligence then had all the assets that would make such a mission successful. Despite later denials and attempts to turn the matter into a joke, this idea was seriously considered among the the highest commanders of the Polish Army. Have any attempts been made to implement it? There are people in this country who can tell some interesting stories on this subject.

In an investigation launched in the spring of 2002 following a fatal accident General Aleksander Lebiedź a thread appeared “participation of foreign services”. Was it a manifestation of Russian paranoia, or maybe the investigators managed to find some clue? The fact is that the general was interested in the fate of suitcase nuclear charges – constructed back in the times of the USSR – and his public statements about a dozen or so missing pieces exposed him to a reprimand from President Boris Yeltsin.

We won't find out whether Lebiedź knew (said) too much – and that's why he died in a helicopter crash. The above-mentioned people – former officers of our secret services – assured me that Polish attempts to obtain “nuclear power” in the East were promising, but they were brutally interrupted by the Americans. Brutally, because Washington resorted to blackmail – “if you don't fold, there is no question of membership in NATO“.

Escalation management

It was true or not, the story above illustrates it perfectly US policy that is not difficult to verify. The states want the “nuclear club” to remain as small as possible, which also includes America's allies. It's about something that General Bogusław Samol called in a program broadcast on Polsat News “escalation management”.

The fewer people who have warheads, the less risk that someone will use them. The fewer allies in this group, the lower the probability that the US – obliged by the alliances – will be forced to enter a war in which nuclear weapons have already been used. This means finding yourself in a situation closer to the worst-case scenario of uncontrolled escalation.

Let us be aware of these conditions when considering the issue of participation Polish w programie “Nuclear Sharing”. Even if we join it – we lend places to store cargo and our pilots learn how to drop nuclear bombs – Americans will remain the warheads' owners. And these – see above…

So only your own? Let's assume that we go through a stage of American obstruction, the goal of which would be to prevent us from obtaining “A” weapons – and what next? Do we have our own, sufficiently effective means of delivering nuclear charges?

The smallest warheads can be placed in appropriately modified artillery shells – and we could probably cope with this task. However, in this way we would gain the opportunity to defeat the enemy tactically, for example by eliminating a brigade in its advance zone.

The real deterrent effect lies in the ability to strike key elements of the enemy's infrastructure located deep behind. “Polish fangs” – cruise missiles JASSM – in the right configuration they can fly up to 1000 km. Equipped with nuclear warheads, they would become an extremely dangerous weapon.

But Without Washington's consent, we would not be able to rearm them, and probably not use them either (they might not take off/reach the target due to “sewn-in” properties). And Americans – see above…

Who participates in the Nuclear Sharing program?/INTERIA.PL

Excessive risk

But do we really need these “nukes”?

Guaranteed to destroy each other – due to size and power nuclear potentials of NATO and Russia – just like in the times of the Cold War, it also reduces the risk of exchanging nuclear strikes today almost to zero. Variants of limited nuclear confrontation, due to their possible consequences, also do not pose a significant threat.

The Russian Federation includes Moscow, St. Petersburg and several other large cities, the rest of the country doesn't really matter in a purely cultural sense.

Meanwhile, an adequate response to the destruction of one of the many (!) European or American metropolises would be to burn one of the few Russian civilization centers. I doubt that the Kremlin is ready to make such a sacrifice, which puts a huge question mark over a possible va banque game, based on “I'll hit, maybe they won't have the courage to hit back.”

I also do not think that for both Russia and the West, the fate of Poland and the Baltic countries is a sufficient excuse to take such a great risk.

American shoes

Let's move on. The Russians cannot be sure whether a tactical nuclear explosion would break the Poles' will to resist. He might as well increase the defenders' resolve. So, if not a single one, then several, a dozen or several dozen? It can be done, but why occupy a devastated and polluted country? And why attack if you can't capture?

And there are also the consequences of a possible collapse of the Polish defense operation – the Russian army on the borders of Germany. An unwanted, Cold War scenario, pro-mobilization for the West. We can doubt the will of the allies, but Russian generals cannot afford to do so; they must make a strong retort.

Finally, there is the issue of image, although it translates into measurable effects. The Kremlin managed to impose itself a vision of Russia reacting militarily to Western provocations, in particular the USA. Africa, parts of Asia and South America support the Russians not so much out of sympathy for their country as out of antipathy towards Americans. Of course, economic interests are important, which only increases the stakes.

The North and South of the globe do not differ in terms of perceiving nuclear weapons as the ultimate argument. Therefore, it would be difficult for Moscow to find a justification for reaching for the “nuclear” – the West would have to be the first to take some “major action”. Without this Russia would lose supporterswhich would translate into further political and economic isolation.

Please note that this is important the basis for pro-Russianism is anti-Americanism, viewing the United States as an imperialist country that easily resorts to violence against others. This ease comes from the feeling of impunity, guaranteed, among others, by: by the nuclear arsenal. And the Americans – this is an extremely important element – have already used it against another country, killing tens of thousands of people.

Dropping the “A” bomb on Poland (as with Ukraine today) would, in this perspective, be Russia stepping into American shoes – which is the last caveat.

Petru in “Graffiti”: Prime Minister Morawiecki generated a VAT gap of PLN 40 billion/Polsat News/Polsat News

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