Kfortov: “I think they are a sort of last resort, the last argument in the event that NATO directly interferes in the conflict”
The Russian analyst Andrei Kfortov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council (Riac), does not rule out Russia’s use of nuclear weapons. “I would very much like it not to be possible, but I cannot afford this luxury”, she said in an interview with Lucia Annunziata’s program ‘Half an hour more’. “The Russian leadership has shown that it is ready for an escalation. There is a lot of ambiguity about the use of nuclear weapons. I think they are a kind of last resort, the last argument in case NATO directly interferes in the conflict“, he added.
“Maybe partial mobilization is an indirect signal that the Kremlin wants to consider a different escalation, not with the use of nuclear weapons but by bringing human forces to the ground. But the danger of using nuclear forces always remains. Maybe by accident, by accident. error, especially if Western military assistance to Ukraine were to increase. ”
Regarding Henry Kissinger’s recent words on the destruction of Russia in the case of his use of nuclear weapons, Kfortov stressed that “if it comes to a nuclear war, everyone will be destroyed, not only Russia, but also its opponents, including NATO “.
“Russia has enough nuclear warheads to destroy all of humanity, as does the United States. From this point of view, we are in no better or worse position than any other country that could be exposed to the use of nuclear weapons.” , he specified hoping that “this could be a deterrent consideration for the Kremlin, that Russia does not use it against Ukraine and that NATO does not interfere”. Because, she reiterated, “if NATO interferes, being superior in terms of conventional weapons, Russia’s response will be the use of nuclear weapons”.
The difference between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons capable of striking Washington is not so well defined. “Tactical weapons have a much shorter range, they are much more practical, they can change the outcome of a battle. But there is, however, no real line between tactical weapons and those with a longer range. Once you take this route, use it. tactical weapons we can get to the use of strategic ones. This is the danger that we must take into consideration, “said the analyst.
A “great debate” has opened up at the top in Russia, “there are many criticisms, even if not direct, for the results on the battlefield”admitted Kfortov.
“Many (within the ruling class, ed) say that Russia is not serious enough and say that partial mobilization is the answer to criticism of the Kremlin. It is beginning to be understood that Ukraine is a very resistant opponent, helped by large scale of Westerners and that this conflict will be difficult for Russia and that therefore something must be done to change the course of the battle. They argue that something must be done to win “, added the analyst, after having specified that in the first seven months of war there have been no “major changes” in leadership, in the group of people surrounding the President, and neither have there been “significant political and economic reforms”. Around Putin there are now “the same people as seven months ago”.
“The changes in recent months have been very limited. And it is one of the reasons why there is concern. It is thought that when there is such a conflict, more decisive decisions are needed. Someone, for example, suggests the introduction a martial law, others the renationalization of industry, some the suspension of political activities “. “But up to now the leaders have wanted to safeguard stability and avoid taking steps that could suggest that we are moving away from normality”.
The leaders in Russia cannot ignore the flight of hundreds of thousands of young Russians to escape the mobilization and the fact that many are thinking of doing so, the Russian analyst said. “It is not a critical development. Russia is a great country, even two hundred thousand fewer people do not make a difference, but it is an important signal that must be taken into consideration,” he said. “Young people don’t want to go to war, they don’t want to die and they don’t want to kill”he added.