According to one report, Russian military officials are said to have been so frustrated by failures in Ukraine that they discussed tactical nuclear weapons. Now Moscow is speaking up.
After speculation about a possible nuclear escalation in the Ukraine war, Russia has underlined the purely defensive nature of its nuclear doctrine. In the current turbulent situation, the most important task is “to avoid any military confrontation between nuclear powers,” the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Wednesday.
In its policy of deterrence, Russia adheres to the fact that nuclear war is inadmissible. There are no winners in such a war and it must never be unleashed. The Russian doctrine is deeply defensive: it only allows the use of nuclear weapons if Russia itself is attacked with weapons of mass destruction or in the case of a conventional attack “that threatens the existence of the state”. This is not subject to any interpretation or extensions.
Shortly after the attack on Ukraine on February 24, Russia raised its nuclear forces to a higher level of readiness, presumably to deter possible military supporters of Ukraine. The West recently speculated that Russia could respond to the military failures in Ukraine in late summer by deploying a tactical nuclear bomb.
Report: Russian military discuss use of nuclear weapons
The newspaper “New York Times” reported on Wednesday, citing US information, that senior Russian military officers had considered using such a bomb. Putin was not involved in the discussion. The findings of the secret services in mid-October caused concern in Washington.
Intelligence information about those talks was shared within the US government in mid-October, the report said. It shows how frustrated Russian generals are about military failures in Ukraine.