Kremlin won’t rule out use of nukes in case of ‘existential threat’
A spokesman for the Kremlin in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour refused to rule out the country’s use of nuclear weapons, saying they could be used if the country faced an “existential threat.”
“We have a concept of domestic security and it’s public, you can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used. So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it (the nuclear arsenal) can be used in accordance with our concept,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Amanpour.
Russia’s war on Ukraine is nearly a month old. The fighting has led to worries about the use of nuclear and chemical weapons, and the United States and NATO have taken a cautious approach to avoid a direct confrontation with a nuclear Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be put on high alert last month after the invasion began. He has also threatened actions against countries offering help to Ukraine, including by providing supplies to the country.
Peskov described the invasion as a “special military operation” in his discussion with CNN. Russia has refused to describe it as an invasion as it seeks to control the narrative of the war within its borders.
He also defended Moscow’s actions, which have drawn international sanctions from the West, saying the goal of the campaign was to rid Ukraine of its military potential and ensure it is a “neutral country.”
Ukraine was once a part of the Soviet Union, and Putin has described its falling apart as a major calamity in history.
Another motivating factor for Russia’s war was the Ukraine government’s interest in joining NATO, something Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky now says is not a realistic outcome.
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