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Nuclear weapons and when Putin could use them - Security and Defense Council

Nuclear weapons and when Putin could use them - Security and Defense Council NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Lytvynenko (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin might order the use of tactical nuclear weapons if the Russian army faces defeat in Ukraine, according to Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

When asked if there were any circumstances under which Putin might resort to using tactical nuclear weapons, Lytvynenko said that we cannot exclude anything if Russia finds itself on the brink of catastrophic defeat. According to him, such a defeat could lead to the collapse of Russian fronts, desertions from the army, and protests in Moscow.

He added that there is no likelihood of Putin using nuclear weapons as long as Russia maintains an advantage in the war.

The NSDC Secretary believes it is doubtful that Putin would use strategic nuclear weapons, which would almost certainly provoke World War III.

"He wants to live," he said.

Lytvynenko also said that a defeat of Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine would not automatically lead to Moscow using nuclear weapons, as Putin might try to convince his people that such a turn of events is a victory.

Russian nuclear threats

Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in 2022, Russian politicians and media have regularly threatened the world with the use of nuclear weapons.

In May, Russia conducted exercises on the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, the Institute for the Study of War believes that such actions by the aggressor are intended to intimidate Western politicians and force them to take measures in favor of Russia voluntarily.

The communiqué from the May G7 summit said that Russia would face serious consequences if it decided to use nuclear or chemical weapons.