Russian President Vladimir Putin would only consider using nuclear weapons if he feels an “existential threat” to his country or regime, according to foreign policy experts. “They can be used but in very, very specific situations”, explained former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, speaking to the American channel ‘Fox News’. “If Russia feels threatened in its heart… Existentially, that is, if NATO troops come to Moscow, then they will probably resort to nuclear weapons. But there is no existential threat to Russia under the current circumstances,” he explained.
The change of course in the Russian invasion of Ukraine has left several analysts suggesting that Putin could use a tactical nuclear strike if Russia faces “a crushing military defeat” in Donbass, according to Brent Sadler, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. “That could be the case where a tactical nuclear weapon could be considered to demonstrate resolve and basically reverse whatever trends are taking place in the Russian military,” he clarified. “I don’t see them using ‘city killers’ because that would definitely lead to World War III, on the assumption that if you do that you’re attacking NATO.”
Vladimir Putin reiterated his nuclear threats after Finland and Sweden indicated that they could join NATO in June, after the Madrid Summit, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned last Sunday that “all countries should worry” about Putin’s threats.
Kozyrev, author of the book ‘The Firebird: The Elusive Fate of Russian Democracy’, assured that it is “absolutely” a case of the Russian leader’s “barking with no way to bite”. “Responsible military commanders will do everything to avoid such a scenario and prevent the use of nuclear weapons unless they believe there is an existential threat to their homeland.” nothing to threaten your position of power.