Will Russia use nuclear weapons? Putin’s warnings defined By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin declares the beginning of coaching launches of ballistic missiles as a part of a strategic deterrence power train, in Moscow, Russia February 19, 2022. Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin by way of REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin, who guidelines the world’s largest nuclear energy, has repeatedly cautioned the West that any assault on Russia might provoke a nuclear response.

Will Putin use nuclear weapons, what number of such weapons does he command and the way may the USA and the U.S.-led NATO army alliance reply?


A lot relies on how Putin perceives the menace to the Russian state and his rule.

Putin casts the conflict in Ukraine as an existential battle between Russia and the West, which he says desires to destroy Russia and seize management its huge pure assets.

Putin warned the West he was not bluffing when he mentioned he’d be prepared to make use of nuclear weapons to defend Russia. Some analysts say Putin is bluffing however Washington is taking Putin significantly.

By claiming 18% of Ukraine as a part of Russia, the room for nuclear threats will increase as Putin might forged any assault on these territories as an assault on Russia itself.

Russia’s nuclear doctrine permits for a nuclear strike after “aggression towards the Russian Federation with standard weapons when the very existence of the state is threatened”.

Many Russians stay in Ukrainian territory that Putin has proclaimed as Russian, and breaking the post-World Conflict Two nuclear taboo wouldn’t essentially change the tactical scenario on the bottom.

“He’s bluffing proper now,” mentioned Yuri Fyodorov, a army analyst based mostly in Prague. “However what is going to occur in per week or a month from now could be tough to say – when he understands the conflict is misplaced.”

Requested if Putin was transferring in direction of a nuclear assault, CIA Director William Burns advised CBS: “We now have to take very significantly his form of threats given all the things that is at stake.”

Burns, although, mentioned U.S. intelligence had no “sensible proof” that Putin was transferring in direction of utilizing tactical nuclear weapons imminently.


No Russian official has referred to as for a strategic nuclear weapons strike with the weapons that had been designed to destroy cities in the USA, Russia, Europe and Asia.

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s Chechnya area, mentioned Moscow ought to think about using a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

Tactical nuclear weapons are basically nuclear weapons used on the battlefield for a “tactical” objective and that are a lot much less highly effective than the massive bombs that might be wanted to destroy massive cities equivalent to Moscow, Washington or London.

Such weapons could be dropped from planes, fired on missiles from the bottom, ships or submarines, or detonated by floor forces.

Though Russia has specialised nuclear forces educated to combat in such an apocalyptic battlefield, it’s unclear how its military of normal troops, mercenaries, drafted reservists and native militias would cope.


Because the dominant world superpower, the USA would in impact determine the response to any Russian nuclear strike.

Russia and the USA management 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads. Their arsenals had been constructed up through the Chilly Conflict, and the Soviet Union bequeathed its nuclear property to fashionable Russia.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s possibility would come with a non-military response, responding with one other nuclear strike that might threat escalation, and responding with a standard assault that might contain Washington in a direct conflict with Moscow.

U.S. Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan mentioned Washington had warned Moscow of particular “catastrophic penalties” if it used nuclear arms.

Retired Common and former CIA chief David Petraeus mentioned that if Moscow used nuclear weapons, then the USA and its NATO allies would destroy Russian troops and tools in Ukraine – and sink its total Black Sea fleet.

Putin reminded Washington that solely the USA had thus far used nuclear weapons in battle – within the 1945 assaults on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Russia is the world’s largest nuclear energy based mostly on the variety of nuclear warheads: it has 5,977 warheads whereas the USA has 5,428, based on the Federation of American Scientists.

These figures embrace stockpiled and retired warheads, however each Moscow and Washington have sufficient firepower to destroy the world many instances over.

Russia has 1,458 strategic nuclear warheads deployed – or prepared to fireside – and the USA has 1,389 deployed, based on the most recent publicly declared information. These warheads are on intercontinental ballistic missiles, ballistic missiles on submarines and strategic bombers.

On the subject of tactical nuclear weapons, Russia has about 10 instances the quantity the USA has. Round half of the 200 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons are deployed at bases in Europe.

The U.S. tactical nuclear weapons have adjustable yields of 0.3 to 170 kilotons (the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was equal to about 15 kilotons of dynamite).

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