President Vladimir Putin recently stated that Russia would not launch a first attack with nuclear weapons, but would resort to using such weapons only as a “means of defense” in response to a similar attack.
“We consider weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, as a means of defense. The concept of their use is built around what is called a retaliatory attack, if we are attacked, we attack as a retaliatory attack,” Vladimir Putin said while attending a meeting of the Council of Civil Society, according to Agence France-Presse and Le Point daily.
Referring to the conflict in Ukraine, Putin stated that the operation of annexing the Ukrainian territories is “a long process”, emphasizing, however, that Russia is registering “significant results”, according to the daily newspaper Le Monde.
Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in 2014, and in September 2022 it annexed the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson, but the decisions are not recognized internationally. The Russian army does not have full control over the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson, and military confrontations with the Ukrainian army continue intensely in these areas.
Such an attack would be “catastrophic” for Vladimir Putin
The Russian president revealed that 150,000 of the 300,000 reservists mobilized in recent months have been sent to Ukraine, with 77,000 participating directly in combat operations.
In October, the Group of Highly Industrialized Nations (G7) warned Russia that using nuclear weapons in Ukraine would have “severe consequences”, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said such an attack would be “catastrophic” for President Vladimir Little bit.
Also in October, US President Joseph Biden denounced his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s frequent “dangerous” statements about the use of nuclear weapons, after the Kremlin leader claimed he had never raised the possibility of a nuclear attack on Ukraine. “If he has no intention, why is he still talking about this?! Why is he talking about the ability to use a tactical nuclear weapon?! He was very dangerous in the way he approached this issue. He can stop everything, withdraw from Ukraine,” Biden said in October.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, had stated that he “never intentionally said anything” about the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, in the context of US warnings about the consequences of such an attack.
The United States warned Russia “clearly and directly”.
The United States warned Russia “clearly and directly” about the consequences of launching a nuclear attack on Ukraine, stated the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, describing as “irresponsible” Moscow’s accusations that the Ukrainian army was manufacturing radioactive weapons. In early October, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia in the conflict with Ukraine would have “severe consequences”.
Previously, Dmitry Medvedev, former president and prime minister of Russia, currently vice-president of the National Security Council, signaled that Moscow has the right to defend itself with nuclear weapons if the existence of the state was threatened. And Vladimir Putin stated that he would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons if there are threats on Russian territory. In the context of the unilateral decision in September to annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye, Putin asked the Ukrainian army to stop belligerent actions, threatening a military response with strategic weapons.