Putin’s Nuclear Threats Escalate Tensions Between East And West

Posted February 27, 2022 by with 1 comment

The feeling I have now must be what everyone felt in the 50’s and 60’s. How much time do we have left? A few more weeks? Days? It’s clear that Putin has gone completely mad, with his mental decline no doubt exacerbated by the humiliation he’s facing after his failure to capture Ukraine as soon and as swiftly as he thought he might. Now, he’s ready to pull out all the stops, and unless the CIA or someone else assassinates him (and all those who might do his bidding), things are not looking good. Via AP:

President Vladimir Putin dramatically escalated East-West tensions by ordering Russian nuclear forces put on high alert Sunday, while Ukraine’s embattled leader agreed to talks with Moscow as Putin’s troops and tanks drove deeper into the country, closing in around the capital.

Citing “aggressive statements” by NATO and tough financial sanctions, Putin issued a directive to increase the readiness of Russia’s nuclear weapons, raising fears that the invasion of Ukraine could lead to nuclear war, whether by design or mistake.

The Russian leader is “potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,” said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss rapidly unfolding military operations.

[…]

Putin, in ordering the nuclear alert, cited not only statements by NATO members but the hard-hitting financial sanctions imposed by the West against Russia, including Putin himself.

“Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,” Putin said in televised comments.

U.S. defense officials would not disclose their current nuclear alert level except to say that the military is prepared all times to defend its homeland and allies.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told ABC that Putin is resorting to the pattern he used in the weeks before the invasion, “which is to manufacture threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression.”

If Putin is arming or otherwise raising the nuclear combat readiness of his bombers, or if he is ordering more ballistic missile submarines to sea, then the U.S. might feel compelled to respond in kind, said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear analyst at the Federation of American Scientists.

[Full story: AP—Putin puts nuclear forces on high alert, escalating tensions]