When asked about his concerns that he might use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said “we haven’t gone mad”. However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of a first-strike in case of danger.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the weapons as deterrents, but reiterated that his country would use all the resources at its disposal to protect its interests in the event of “peaceful means”.
This is the latest of a series of statements he made since the beginning of the war, in which he kept the nuclear option open.
“We haven’t gone mad. “We fully understand nuclear weapons,” Mr Putin stated to a member the presidential Human Rights Council via televised comments.
He said, “We have them and they are more advanced than any other nuclear power.”
“We don’t intend to flaunt those weapons like a razor around the world, but instead we will naturally continue from their existence.
It is a deterrent factor, not a trigger for an escalation.
The president, however, declined to rule out a hypothetical first-strike and claimed it could stop Russia from defending itself.
He stated that Russia had a doctrine called “launch on warning”, which states that Russia would use nuclear weapons to defend itself against an imminent nuclear attack or a conventional attack.
The president stated that if it doesn’t use the item first in any circumstance, it will not be the second to do so because there is very little chance of it being used in the event of a nuclear strike.
Many Western countries have criticised Putin’s nuclear comments previously as being dangerous.
He claimed that he was provoked by Liz Truss, ex-prime minister of the UK, when she spoke out about her readiness to use nukes.
His comments seemed to be in reference to Ms Truss’ August remarks in which she said to a Tory hustings that she was “ready” for WMD use if necessary.
Putin said, “I had to emphasize certain things in response.”
“Her comments were largely ignored, but they quickly emphasized our statements and used them as scare tactics to the rest of the world.”
His comments were similar to those he made in October when he stated that Ms Truss was “a little out of it”when he raised concerns about Russia’s nuclear capabilities in a UN speech.
Putin also addressed the Ukraine war situation, where it has suffered significant losses in recent months. He said it would likely take a “long time” and that Russia does not plan to end the conflict anytime soon.
He also attempted to dispel rumors of a second mobilization next year by saying that there wasn’t need for an additional call-up.
According to Russia’s president, only half of the 300,000.00 reservists that were drafted had been sent to Ukraine’s “special military operation”.
He said that 77,000 of them were in combat units, while the remainder were performing defensive functions.
Rumours are growing among Russian opposition politicians, prominent pro-war Telegram channels and prominent Telegram channels about a second wave of terrorists early next year.