About a possible nuclear attack on Ukraine, Russia says: it’s all in our military doctrine

Asked whether Russia would rule out a preemptive tactical nuclear attack on Ukraine, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday that a decision on the possible use of nuclear weapons was clearly set out in Russian military doctrine, RIA reported.

“We have a military doctrine – everything is written there,” Alexander Grushko said through the state news agency RIA.

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Russia’s official military deployment principles permit the use of nuclear weapons if they – or other types of weapons of mass destruction – are used against them, or if the Russian state faces an existential threat from conventional weapons.

The decision to use Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal, the largest in the world, rests with the Russian president, currently Vladimir Putin.

The Russian invasion has killed thousands, displaced nearly 10 million people and raised fears of a wider confrontation between Russia and the United States – by far the largest nuclear powers in the world.

US Central Intelligence Agency director William Burns said on Saturday that Putin believes he cannot afford to lose in Ukraine and warned the West could not ignore the risk of Moscow’s use of tactical nuclear weapons.

“As an intelligence community, we don’t see any practical evidence of Russian plans to deploy or even use tactical nuclear weapons at this time,” Burns said.

However, he warned that “the stakes are very high for Putin’s Russia.”

Nuclear attack?

A decree signed by Putin on June 2, 2020, said Russia views its nuclear weapons as “solely a means of deterrence”.

It repeats the phraseology of military doctrine, but adds details about four circumstances under which a nuclear attack can occur:
would be ordered. These include reliable information about a ballistic missile attack on Russia and an enemy attack “on”
critical state or military installations of the Russian Federation, the incompetence of which would lead to the disruption of a response by nuclear forces.”

Putin, who has repeatedly expressed resentment over the way the West treated Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991,
says Ukraine has been used by the United States to threaten Russia.

He justified his Feb. 24 order for a special military operation by saying that Ukraine had persecuted Russian speakers and that the United States was keen to expand NATO’s military alliance in a way that would endanger Russia.

US President Joe Biden views Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a battle in a much broader global struggle between democracy and autocracy. He also called Putin a war criminal and said the former KGB spy cannot stay in power.

Ukraine rejects Russian claims that it has persecuted Russian speakers and says it is fighting for its survival. Russia denies Ukrainian and Western allegations that its troops committed war crimes.

Read more:

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Zelenskyy on Victory Day: Russia adopts Nazi philosophy, Putin imitates Hitler

Macron: Putin’s attitude ‘belligerent’, no peace due to ‘humiliation’ of Russia or Ukraine

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