Putin: Russia Prepared To Use Nuclear Weapons If Needed

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview on Wednesday that his country is ready to use nuclear weapons if NATO places troops in Ukraine.

This is not the first time Russia has referred to using its nuclear arsenal. In a game reminiscent of “good cop, bad cop,” several Russian leaders beneath Putin have a history of making explicit threats to use nuclear bombs against Western nations, while Putin has always been seen to remain the cool-headed, more reasonable leader on the world stage.

While it is possible that this appearance was by design, that the president himself is now making allusions to being prepared for such action is a significant development that may signal Russia wants the threat to be taken more seriously.

Putin tempered his comments by adding that he was not “rushing” to use them, nor did he believe that their use in Ukraine is currently necessary. He did, however, emphasize that Russia is ready to use them should it become a necessity, and that he believes the U.S. knows sending troops into Ukraine would be a major escalation that would cross a red line.

“Weapons exist in order to use them,” he said.

The statement comes after recent comments from French President Emmanuel Macron calling for French troops on the ground in Ukraine, a major escalation in rhetoric.

Putin’s allusion to nuclear weapons also comes after it has recently been confirmed that the CIA operates 12 spy bases in Ukraine designed to spy on Russia and assist the Ukrainian military in offensive actions within the Russian Federation, such as the use of drones to bomb Russian oil refineries.

Additionally, the U.S. is continuing to fund the Ukrainian war effort with another $300 million in weapons being sent to the war-torn nation.

It is unclear if Putin’s comments may also have been meant to shore up political favor in his country, but they have certainly sent a message for Western leaders to carefully consider as the war in Ukraine risks growing into a wider conflict.

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