Is a Global Nuclear Threat Closer Than Ever Thanks to Vladimir Putin?
(TargetLiberty.org) – On Wednesday, September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the largest mobilization of troops since WWII. He also issued a frightening threat to the West. In a televised speech to his country, he said that if Russia’s “territorial integrity” is violated, then he intends to use every measure in his power to defend it.
Putin went on to accuse western nations of pushing “aggressive anti-Russian policy” and crossing “every line.” Then he spoke directly to nuclear-capable countries, saying the “weathervane can turn and point towards them.” He also made it clear he wasn’t bluffing when he made the threat.
How Did We Get Here?
Putin’s threats come as his military is taking a beating in Ukraine. The Russian leader invaded the neighboring nation in February and has now been involved in a conflict for seven months. US intelligence reports put his troop losses (to injury and death) at as many as 80,000 by mid-summer.
In early September, Ukraine launched a massive offensive. The battered nation used weapons systems given to them by the West, including the US, to wipe out countless Russian troops and take back swaths of territory. In response, Putin mobilized troops and issued the nuclear threat.
Is Nuclear War on the Horizon?
Russia is often described as one of the last remaining superpowers. Before its failed war with Ukraine, the country was also thought to have one of the most powerful militaries in the world. While it’s not clear how strong the nation’s army is at this point, it does have the weapons necessary to carry out nuclear war.
According to the Arms Control Association, Russia has at least 6,257 nuclear warheads, more than any other country in the world. The US comes in second with a stockpile of 5,550. For decades, the two countries have had a mutual assured destruction agreement, meaning leaders of both the US and Russia understand an attack by one of them would lead to an equally destructive retaliatory attack.
Putin’s threat against the US and its Western allies raised the stakes. Gleb O. Pavlovsky, a former adviser to the Russian president, told The New York Times there is a “feeling now that he might do anything,” and he is using that as “strategic potential because he has no other.”
The Russian president seems to be banking on the idea that the West will do anything to stop the threat of nuclear war, even allowing him to do what he wants in Ukraine. President Joe Biden and other allied nations are not caving. The US president spoke at the UN General Assembly in New York and said Putin was making “irresponsible nuclear threats,” but America and its allies will continue to “stand in solidarity” because “This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state.”
Copyright 2022, TargetLiberty.org