A possibility also taken seriously in Washington. But without any concrete sign of preparation for such a scenario, qualified the head of the CIA this week.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called on the world to “prepare” for the possible use by Russia of its nuclear weapons, during an interview with several Ukrainian media.
“We should not wait for the moment when Russia decides to use its nuclear weapons. We must prepare for that”, he insisted.
It’s necessary “drugs (against radiation), air-raid shelters”, he asserted. “We have to talk to them, sign treaties, get tough economically. (The Russians) can use any weapon, I’m sure.”, he said while most military experts are divided on the likelihood of such a scenario, but do not rule it out, in any case.
A threat “not to be taken lightly”
On Friday, Volodymyr Zelensky had already assured that “the whole world” should be “worried” the risk that the humiliated Russian President Vladimir Putin, cornered by his military setbacks in Ukraine, will resort to a tactical nuclear weapon.
He echoed the statements to this effect from the head of American foreign intelligence, William Burns, who had considered the day before that it was not necessary “to take lightly” this threat. “We haven’t really seen any concrete signs like deployments or military measures that could heighten our concerns”however, qualified the head of the CIA.
The Kremlin had already claimed to have put its nuclear forces on alert at the start of its offensive. Moscow will use nuclear weapons in Ukraine only in the event of “existential threat” against Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN.
Attacks launched against Kyiv and other cities
According to Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsQuoted by Point and AFP, Russia is equipped with “ 1 588 Russian nuclear warheads deployed “, including 812 on land-based missiles, 576 on submarines and 200 on bombers.
Russian forces struck the capital Kyiv and other major Ukrainian cities on Saturday, following through on their threat to launch more attacks on cities after the sinking of the Russian flagship in the Black Sea.
In the besieged port of Mariupol (see below), the scene of the heaviest fighting and the worst humanitarian disaster the country has experienced since the start of the war, Russian troops continued their advance at a forced march, hoping to compensate their multiple failures in the field after 52 days of war.