Ukraine, “Russian military leaders: they talk about the use of atomic weapons”

But Washington assures: “We see no signs of preparation for a nuclear attack”

Russia’s military leaders have been intercepted by US intelligence as they discuss scenarios in which they could use nuclear weapons. The New York Times writes it today, underlining that these “conversations have alarmed the Biden administration because they demonstrate the level of frustration in Moscow in the face of defeats on the ground in Ukraine”.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was not intercepted during these conversationsunderlined the NYT, highlighting how the events took place against the background of the intensification of Moscow’s nuclear rhetoric and suggest that the veiled threats from the Kremlin may not remain just words.

US intelligence officials, however, said they have no evidence that the Russians are placing nuclear weapons or taking preparatory measures ahead of launching such an attack.

The contents of the interceptions were circulated within the United States Administration in mid-October. “We continue to monitor as best we can, and we see no indications that Russia is making preparations for the use of nuclear weapons“John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in response to reporters who asked him about the New York Times reports.

Specifying that he has no comment on the specifics of the Times revelations, Kirby recalled that “from the beginning we have been clear that Russia’s claims on the potential use of nuclear weapons are deeply concerning and we take them seriously”.

Shoigu: “Kiev is building a dirty bomb and wants NATO nuclear weapons”

“We know that Ukraine is building a dirty bomb and that it is considering using NATO nuclear weapons on its territory”. This was stated by the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a meeting of the joint council of the military departments of Russia and Belarus. According to the minister, the multinational NATO grouping near the borders of Russia with the participation of troops of non-regional members of the alliance has grown 2.5 times since February, reaching over 30 thousand people.

“In Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in the Baltic countries, formations of the armed forces of non-regional NATO states are deployed. New tactical groups of multinational battalions are created in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The size of the group has grown 2 , 5 times since February 2022 and has more than 30 thousand people. In the near future it could increase even more “, said the minister according to what was reported by Ria Novosti.

Russia, how the use of nuclear weapons has changed since 2014 – The role of nuclear weapons in Russia has changed after 2014, but there is no certainty, examining official texts and words, of the effective possibility of their use to end a conventional conflict, the so-called escalate to de escalate ‘introduced in the United States in the second half of the 1910s on the basis of developments in Moscow. American analysts are divided, as reported by the study Russia’s Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces, and Modernization “updated last April by the Congressional Research Service and the debate is open and evolving.

A large arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons and dual launch systems (capable of launching conventional and nuclear warheads, such as the Iskanders and Kinzhals) together with statements by Vladimir Putin, starting with his words in the speech in front of the Federal Assembly in March 2018, to remind the world of the power of Russian nuclear deterrence, actually led some in the West to believe that Moscow places greater weight on the role of nuclear weapons in its military strategy and planning.

Before the annexation of Crimea, US analysts believed that non-strategic nuclear weapons “did not have a defined mission and role in the deterrence structure.” The events of 2014, the words of Putin and other leaders along with military exercises simulating the use of nuclear weapons against NATO countries, have led some to believe that Russia may threaten the use of short-term weapons. non-strategic, to intimidate or coerce neighboring countries, before or during a conflict if Russia believes that a threat to the use of these weapons could cause opponents to back down.

It is precisely from that idea that the concept of ‘escalate to de-escalate’ was born in the United States, i.e. the possibility that in the event of defeat in a military conflict with NATO, Moscow could threaten the use of nuclear weapons in an effort to force allied countries to abandon the battlefield, a phrase that has no trace in any Russian document or debate.

In June 2020, for example, Russia published “The Basic Principles of the Russian Federation’s Policy on Nuclear Deterrence” which states that Moscow “considers nuclear weapons exclusively as a deterrent tool”. A document – it is explained in the study of the Study Center of the American Congress – which does not completely resolve the question of the possibility of escalating the conflict to the point of using a nuclear weapon to put an end to a conventional conflict.

The policy of deterrence “is defensive by nature and aims to maintain the potential of nuclear forces at a level sufficient for deterrence and to ensure the protection of national sovereignty and the integrity of the state and for the deterrence of a potential adversary. for an aggression against Russia and its allies “. The threats and circumstances under which the use of nuclear weapons can be considered are “reliable data on the launch of a ballistic missile attack against the Russian Federation and its allies” and in response “to the use of nuclear weapons or of destruction. mass “or to” an attack by an opponent against critical government or military sites, the destruction of which can diminish the nuclear response capacity and aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons, in the event that the same existence of the state is at risk “. In the event that the very existence of the state is at risk it is the sentence that condenses the ambiguity of Russia’s position.

“In the event of a military conflict, this Doctrine provides ways to prevent an escalation of military actions and their completion under conditions that are not acceptable to Russia and its allies,” he concludes, thus leaving the way open for an escalation of the conflict. with nuclear weapons as a deterrent to a conflict that threatens Russia’s existence.