The United States warned Putin again that if he uses nuclear weapons “it will have catastrophic consequences for Russia”

Vladimir Putin is warned by the US (EFE/Sputnik) (EFE/)

The United States warned the government of Vladimir Putin on Sunday that any use of nuclear weapons will have “catastrophic consequences” for Russiasince the North American country and its allies will respond “decisively”.

This was stated by the White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, in an interview with CBSNews in which he said that the possible use of nuclear weapons must be “taken very seriously” for the first time since World War II.

We have communicated directly, in private, at very high levels to the Kremlin, that any use of nuclear weapons will have catastrophic consequences for Russia, that the United States and our allies will respond decisively.”, assured the adviser.

In a televised speech last Wednesday, Putin mentioned the “weapons of the future” to warn NATO that Russia has an “unparalleled” nuclear arsenal that allows it to counter any Western threat. “I want to remind you that our country also has different offensive systems and, in some components, they are more modern than those of NATO countries,” he threatened.

In Sullivan’s opinion, both in public and in private The United States has been “clear and specific” about what a possible use of nuclear weapons would entail, since the Joe Biden government “will respond decisively,” he insisted.

Days ago, Biden answered what he would say to Putin if the Russian leader is considering using nuclear weapons:
Days ago, Biden answered what he would say to Putin if the Russian leader is considering using nuclear weapons: “Don’t do it. You will change the face of war like never before since World War II” (Reuters) (EVELYN HOCKSTEIN /)

The United States, added the government adviser, will continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to defend the country and its democracy and recalled that more than 15 billion dollars in aid for weapons and air defense systems have already been provided.

In the interview, Sullivan also referred to the current situation of the Russian Army and assured that the massive call for citizen mobilization “is not exactly a sign of strength or confidence”, but “a sign that they are suffering a lot on the Russian side. ”.

What would a Russian nuclear attack look like?

Analysts say Moscow is likely to deploy one or more nuclear weapons.tactics”. These are small atomic weapons with an explosive power ranging from 0.3 to 100 kilotonscompared to 1.2 megatons from the largest US strategic nuclear warhead or the 58-megaton bomb tested by Russia in 1961.

Tactical bombs are designed to have a limited impact on the battlefieldwhile strategic weapons are designed to fight and win merciless wars.

However, the terms “small” and “limited” are relative. The atomic bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, with devastating effect, had a power of 15 kilotons.

What targets would Moscow aim at?

Experts believe that Russia’s goal in using tactical nuclear weapons would be provoke fear to force a surrender of Ukraine or a submission to negotiations, and thus divide the Western countries that support the war.

Mark Cancian, a military expert with the CSIS international security program in Washington, said Russia is unlikely to use its nuclear weapons on the front lines.

After Ukraine's successful counteroffensive in Kharkiv, Russia contemplates using nuclear weapons (Reuters)
After Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in Kharkiv, Russia plans to use nuclear weapons (Reuters) (STRINGER/)

Capture about 32 kilometers of territory could require about 20 small nuclear bombs, which would mean a small advance compared to the high risk of radioactive fallout. “Using one would not be enough”, says Cancian.

But Moscow could avoid multiple casualties by detonating a nuclear bomb over water or by exploding one high above Ukraine to generate an electromagnetic pulse that would collapse the electronic equipment.

Or he could opt for further destruction and death by attacking Ukrainian military bases, or hitting an urban center like kyiv.generating massive casualties and possibly killing the country’s political leadership.

Such scenarios “would likely be designed to split the NATO alliance and the global consensus against Putin,” he wrote in substack Jon Wolfsthal, a former White House adviser and nuclear expert. But “it is not clear whether this could be successful, and easily could be seen as both an act of desperation and determination”, he explained.

Would the West respond with nuclear warheads?

The West has remained ambiguous about its response to a possible tactical nuclear attack from Russia, and the options are complicated. The United States and NATO do not want to appear weak in the face of an implied nuclear threat. But they also want to prevent the war in Ukraine, a country that is not a member of the Atlantic alliance, from turning into a larger and more devastating global nuclear war.

Experts believe that the West I might have no choice but to reply, and that such a response could come from NATO as a bloc, rather than a response from the United States alone. But any response should “both ensure that Putin’s military situation is not improved by such an attack, and that his political, economic and military position suffers as a result,” Wolfsthal estimates.

The United States has positioned a hundred of its own tactical nuclear weapons in NATO countries and could respond to the same level against Russian forces.

This would show determination and remind Moscow of the danger of its actions, according to Matthew Kroenig of the Atlantic Council. However, “this may also provoke a Russian nuclear retaliation, raising the risk of a further nuclear exchange and a greater humanitarian disaster.”

Another risk is that some NATO members will reject a nuclear response, serving Putin’s goals of weakening the alliance.

(With information from EFE and AFP)


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