The West doubts the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, writes FT. According to the newspaper, in response to such a move by Moscow, a nuclear strike is not considered. media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
Western officials doubt that Russia will use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but if it does, a mirror response is unlikely, sources told The Financial Times.
Despite the fact that Western countries did not take the words Putin, who warned about the readiness to use “all means” to protect the country, as a direct threat, they increase vigilance and nuclear deterrence, the newspaper's interlocutors said.
Two unnamed officials expressed doubt that the West would do the same in response to a potential nuclear strike. According to them, “the usual military response” will follow. Three sources told the newspaper that NATO countries had warned Moscow about the scale of the response to the use of nuclear weapons. In their opinion, such a threat would be the best deterrent.
Analysts and politicians, the FT notes, believe that if Russia decides to use nuclear weapons, then it will be tactical (it contains less TNT equivalent compared to the strategic one).
The topic of Russia's possible use of nuclear weapons in the West is being discussed after Putin's words on September 21, during his address to citizens, during which the head of state announced a partial mobilization. He accused Western countries of “nuclear blackmail”.
“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It's not a bluff. <…> Those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind rose can also turn in their direction, — he said.
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The law signed in 2020 provides four conditions for Russia to use nuclear weapons:
- receipt of reliable information about the launch of ballistic missiles attacking the territories of Russia and/or its allies;
- the use by the enemy of nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction on the territories of Russia;
- the impact of the enemy on critical state or military facilities of Russia, the failure of which will lead to the disruption of the response of nuclear forces;
- aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons, when the very existence of the state is threatened.
In March, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that any outcome of the military operation in Ukraine “certainly not reason for the use of nuclear weapons. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, after the announcement of the referenda, warned that the protection of all joined territories would be strengthened. “Russia has announced that not only mobilization capabilities, but also any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles, can be used for such protection,” — he wrote in his telegram channel.
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