Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Nuclear Threat: Real or Just Trying to Avoid Defeat?

 4/26/22 Washington Examiner:

Russia's foreign minister warned on Monday that the risk of nuclear war is "considerable" and should not be underestimated while accusing NATO of engaging in a proxy war against Russia by arming Ukraine.

In an interview with state television, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that Russia has been striving to avoid a nuclear conflict since its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, but he said communication with the United States has "practically ceased" and that the Ukrainian side is not negotiating for peace in good faith.

It is hard to negotiate for peace when Russia is burying civilians in mass graves.  The good news:

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is reportedly receiving several briefings per week about the possibility of Russia using its nuclear arsenal, but Pentagon officials are skeptical that Russia will follow through with its threats to use nuclear weapons.

"We took note of what Mr. Putin said in the early days of this invasion,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “I think it's also important to add that there hasn't been more of that rhetoric following that initial salvo in the early days.” 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on Monday that Lavrov’s talk of nuclear war is a "last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine.”

"Thus the talk of a ‘real’ danger of WWIII. This only means Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine," Kuleba tweeted. 

That sounds like the truth,  Putin (and his military) are s not going to risk the reduction of Russia to radioactive hunter-gatherers to protect Putin's ego from the consequences of the biggest strategic error in decades.

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