War in Ukraine: nuclear

War in Ukraine: nuclear “apocalypse”, “preventive strikes” … How Moscow tenses up after recent statements from the West

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Joe Biden, President of the United States, spoke on Thursday, citing a risk of nuclear “apocalypse” unprecedented since the Cold War. This Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of NATO’s “preventive strikes” to punish Russia. Moscow denounces a “call to start a new world war”.

US President Joe Biden warned Thursday, October 6 against the risk of “apocalypse”, for the first time since the Cold War, due to threats to use nuclear weapons by Russia, whose troops are pressured by the Ukrainian counter-offensive. Joe Biden said he wondered about a way out for his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. “How can he get away with this? How can he position himself so that he neither loses face nor loses a significant portion of his power in Russia?” questioned the American president during a fundraiser in New York.

Joe Biden has warned of the risk of an “apocalypse”, for the first time since the Cold War, due to threats to use nuclear weapons by Russia, whose troops are under pressure from the counter- Ukrainian offensive #AFP 2/5 pic.twitter.com/WnBMYSFZrG

– Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) October 7, 2022

Faced with stubborn Ukrainian resistance fueled by Western military aid, Vladimir Putin alluded to the atomic bomb in a televised speech on September 21. He said he was ready to use “all means” in his arsenal against the West, which he accused of wanting to “destroy” Russia. “It’s not a bluff,” he assured. “We have not faced the prospect of an apocalypse since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis” in 1962, warned the American president on Thursday.

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According to experts, an atomic attack would likely employ tactical nuclear weapons – smaller in explosive charge than a strategic nuclear weapon. But Washington considers that even a tactical nuclear strike could trigger a wider conflagration. Vladimir Putin “is not joking when he talks about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons, because his army, one could say, is very inefficient”, still judged the American president.

“New World War”

Faced with the setbacks of the Russian army in Ukraine and a chaotic mobilization in Russia which has pushed hundreds of thousands of his compatriots into exile, the Russian president assured Wednesday that the military situation would “stabilize”. Another point of friction, Moscow castigated on Thursday the remarks of Volodymyr Zelensky who spoke during an interview of NATO’s “preventive strikes” against Russia, pushing the Kremlin to denounce a “call to start a new world war with monstrous and unforeseeable consequences”.

The Ukrainian presidency split a message explaining that Volodymyr Zelensky’s remarks were misunderstood and that he was talking about sanctions and not nuclear strikes. On the front, Ukrainian soldiers have assured to finally see “the light at the end of the tunnel”, thanks to their recent successes, after more than seven months of a grueling war.

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