Russia Once Again Threatens Nuclear Weapon Use – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Russian TV on Tuesday that if the United States and NATO allies continue to arm Ukraine with weapons and ammunition, it may prompt Moscow to deploy and possibly use tactical nuclear weapons.
Lavrov said that the risk of the Ukraine conflict becoming a nuclear war “should not be underestimated,” adding that the United States’ continual supply of weapons to Ukraine was “pouring oil on the fire.”
Lavrov also referred to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when the United States and the Soviet Union were very close to a nuclear war and said that while the two countries have long understood the rules of conduct between two major superpowers, there are now “few rules left.”
Pentagon Slams “Dangerous” Rhetoric from Russia
United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin responded to talk of a nuclear war, slamming Moscow for the “very dangerous and unhelpful” words. Austin made the comments after he left Kiev, Ukraine, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“Nobody wants to see a nuclear war – nobody can win it,” Austin said, adding that the United States and NATO are doing everything possible to ensure that the situation in Ukraine does not “spin out of control.”
“We are always mindful of making sure that we have the right balance and that we’re taking the right approach,” he said, before admitting that there is “always a possibility that a number of things can happen.”
Is Russia desperately trying to end the war by scaring NATO? He said this week that the war would end if Ukraine accepts it would lose Donbas and Crimea.
Zelenskyy Says Russia Poses Great Nuclear Threat
In a press conference on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that no other country has posed such a large-scale threat to nuclear security since 1986, warning that Russia was taking the possibility of a nuclear conflict very seriously.
“No one has the right to turn nuclear energy into weapons or to blackmail the world with nuclear weapons,” he said, referencing Russia’s occupation of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and the attacks directed at the Zaporizhzhia power plant earlier this month.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.