Russian nuclear use in Ukraine and beyond is highly unlikely – ISW

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During his Federal Assembly speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin used tired rhetoric about negotiations and nuclear saber rattling, likely to seize on Western attention to the speech to promote ongoing Kremlin information operations.

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said this in its latest report, according to Ukrinform.

Putin reiterated his feigned readiness for dialogue with the United States on issues of “strategic stability” and continued to place the onus for a lack of negotiations on the United States. ISW experts said that the Kremlin is currently conducting an information operation feigning interest in negotiations to prompt preemptive Western concessions regarding Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Putin continues to pursue maximalist objectives in Ukraine that amount to full Ukrainian capitulation and aims to weaken and dismantle NATO, objectives that he most certainly views as integral parts of Russian national interests,” ISW experts said.

Putin also emphasized that Russia possesses weapons that can strike Western countries and claimed that Western escalation is threatening a possible nuclear conflict that could destroy civilization. ISW experts noted that Putin and Russian officials frequently invoke nuclear threats to instill fear in Western audiences and weaken Western support for Ukraine.

“The Kremlin has not engaged in any significant escalations in response to the provision of new Western systems to Ukraine, and ISW continues to assess that Russian nuclear use in Ukraine and beyond is highly unlikely,” the report says.

As reported by Ukrinform, Washington called Russian President Putin’s latest remarks regarding the possibility of using nuclear weapons “irresponsible rhetoric” and reminded that the United States had warned Russia of the possible consequences of such a step.

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