Is a nuclear war in the offing?

Is a nuclear war in the offing?
Опубликовано: Tuesday, 11 April 2023 06:03

Official Russian media reported that President Putin claimed that this maneuver does not breach the agreements that limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons and likened it to the US positioning its weapons in Europe.

President Putin further declared that Moscow will retain control over its weapons and that only a few Iskander missile systems capable of launching nuclear weapons have already been sent to Belarus. After 18 countries agreed to provide Ukraine with a minimum of one million artillery shells over the coming year, President Putin made his announcement.

Moreover, British Deputy Defense Minister Annabel Goldie’s remarks about providing depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine provoked President Putin into stating that Russia would need to take action if the West started using nuclear components in Ukraine.

While these measures might appear to intensify the existing tensions between Russia and the West, it is the remarks made by Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus and a staunch Kremlin supporter, that have unsettled observers. He asserted that Western assistance to Ukraine raises the likelihood of a nuclear conflict, and that an impending nuclear war is imminent.

He demanded a “truce” and unrestricted discussions between Moscow and Kiev. There are several signs that the termination of the war in Ukraine is unlikely. This implies more escalation and a potential nuclear conflict that cannot be prevented due to misjudgment.

The Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, made some comments that suggest that the Russia-West confrontation is a total war in every meaning of the term. He cautioned that this war will be prolonged, which explains the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus in anticipation of any future developments in the conflict.

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There is also a report from the British Ministry of Defence indicating that President Vladimir Putin intends to recruit an additional 400,000 soldiers for the Ukrainian war. The preparations are aimed at enticing volunteers rather than merely relying on conscription to compensate for the Russian soldier deficit in Ukraine.

The evidence indicates that Russia expects the military conflict in Ukraine to last for an extended period. Dmitry Polyanskiy, the Russian Permanent Representative to the UN, verified that the conflict in Ukraine is not close to a peaceful resolution due to the lack of diplomatic efforts from Western countries.

The Russian representative stressed that his country is prepared to engage in serious discussions about achieving its military objectives through other means, but the West shows no interest, and Russia must advance militarily. This statement implies that Russia may accept discussing proposals such as Ukraine’s neutrality during negotiations, but it sees no other option than to continue the war.

This raises questions about Russia’s ability to endure the war economically and withstand the West’s long-term attrition tactics. Can Russia resort to a sudden military escalation plan, using tactical nuclear weapons or otherwise, to pressure the West to cease fighting? The issue at hand is the reckless treatment of the idea of nuclear war by everyone involved.

Experts and observers state that the unlikelihood of a nuclear war is due to the parties involved being aware of its dangers and destructive consequences. They understand that nuclear weapons serve primarily as a deterrent and are difficult to use effectively. However, this assumption falls apart in exceptional situations, such as mutual misunderstandings.

Putin and his close associates’ repeated signals about nuclear weapons reflect the truth that the Kremlin must have studied the possibilities of using nuclear weapons and identified precisely the circumstances and scenarios in which they could be used. The Western armies have done the same.

Therefore, the scenario is not entirely impossible, but what has not been studied is cases where things get out of control, such as miscalculations that could escalate into a nuclear war. These situations happen from time to time, and they are isolated from routine calculations of action and reaction.

While these scenarios remain relatively remote under current circumstances, they cannot be entirely ruled out. This is a danger that must be heeded as the world may wake up to a nuclear catastrophe that everyone will inevitably pay the price for, both in the East and the West.

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