Ukraine: LBC commentator on possibility of nuclear conflict
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The terrifying warning comes after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that the escalation of the Ukraine conflict into a third World War would be “nuclear and destructive”. And Putin also ordered Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces to be put on “high alert” last weekend. Brandon Weichert, a geopolitical analyst and author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower, told Express.co.uk that these may be more than just empty threats.
He said: “Whenever Russia is engaged in warfare that NATO/US have taken an interest in, one should always be concerned about the prospect of nuclear escalation.
“Putin has a very different view of non-strategic nuclear weapons (tactical nukes of the sort that are being stockpiled in Russian-controlled Kaliningrad).
“Putin views those weapons not in apocalyptic terms but as giant artillery pieces to be used to soften up the lines of opposing forces (NATO).”
Mr Weichert also warned that the West has left itself unprepared if Russia does pull the trigger.
He said: “The fact that nuclear weapons are now a very old technology that multiple countries–including Pakistan and India–have possession indicates how ridiculous it is that we’ve not developed even rudimentary capabilities for defending against nuclear attack…despite the fact that the first anti-ballistic missile defence systems, the Nike Missiles, were built in the 1950s.
“This isn’t a matter of lack of technology, this is a matter of severe lack of political will.
“We are made needlessly vulnerable to nuclear attack and destruction because of this. That must change and the Russian war in Ukraine should be a wake-up call to change this condition.”
These comments also come after Putin the firing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in military drills.
One was fired northwest Russia, and the second from a submarine in the Barents Sea, which reportedly hit targets thousands of kilometres away in the far eastern peninsula of Kamchatka.
Mr Putin also said last week that Russia “will continue to develop advanced weapons systems – including hypersonic”, which he said were of unparalleled quality.
He also put those weapons on combat duty.
Mr Weichert suggested that it might not be long that Putin involves more of his terrifying arsenal in the Ukraine war.
In fact, Russia has the largest nuclear stockpile of any country, with 6,257- weapons.
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Mr Weichert told Express.co.uk: “Putin is keenly aware that the West is unapologetically providing heavy weapons and funding to Ukraine–supplying weapons that can/have been used to kill Russian soldiers.
“While I am not yet convinced that Putin has lost in Ukraine, the fact of the matter is that he has suffered some setbacks and is getting desperate.
“Time might not be on his side politically and he needs a win…or something approximating that. So, I would take Putin’s nuclear threat seriously.
“Now that we’ve nuked the Russian economy with SWIFT removal and increased sanctions, the greater question on the minds of Western policymakers should be, considering how badly Putin is looking in Ukraine, what’s to stop him from bringing out all of his weapons in an attempt to achieve victory?“
And worryingly, Mr Weichert added that times have changed since the Cold War, when leaders of the US and Russia had a tense stand-off with both sides issuing nuclear threats.
While neither country pushed the red button back in the 1960s during the Cuban missile crisis, Mr Weichert warned that it could be different this time.
He told Express.co.uk: “It is a dangerous miscalculation for Western leaders to write off the nuclear threat–especially because this is not the Cold War and Russia’s official military doctrine calls on asymmetrical military operations being preferred over conventional ones when fighting the West.
“Therefore, jumping up the escalating ladder to nuclear weapons might be one way to keep the Americans and NATO off-balance as Putin attempts to fundamentally change the conditions on the ground in Ukraine to make them more conducive for his forces to achieve victory.
“I do believe we may yet see nuclear weapons used in war.
“And it might not be America launching them to end a war, as was the case in WWII. It might be Russia blasting their neighbours to start a war they think the West is unprepared to fight or win. “
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