President Vladimir Putin visits the Vostochny cosmodrome

Putin ready to use nuclear weapons: Khrushchev’s great granddaughter

Putin ready to use nuclear weapons: Khrushchev’s great granddaughter

Nina Khrushcheva, the great-granddaughter of late Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, warned that Russia may be ready to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Khrushcheva, a professor of international affairs at the New School in New York City, said he feared Russian President Vladimir Putin could eventually deploy tactical nuclear weapons to claim victory in Ukraine.

“Since there are questions about how far Russia can go to create victory, and nuclear weapons have been part of the conversation on both sides, Russia and the West, the tactical atomic option is potentially conceivable,” he said. News weekadding that his remarks “are not a prediction”.

“I want to be very clear,” he added. “It is not said that it will happen, but as regards the scenarios, not inconceivable even if not the most probable”.

He previously told the BBC that “this war is really the one that Putin plans to win and he expects to win at any cost.

“This suggests whether he needs to declare victory and may need to use tactical nuclear weapons – I’m not foreseeing that – but this could be one of the options the Russians may be willing to use.”

On April 12, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Vostochny cosmodrome, about 180 km north of Blagoveschensk, in the Amur region.
Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik / AFP via Getty Images

Just before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, Putin warned Western countries to stay out of the conflict and said he was putting his nuclear forces on greater alert. Any country that interferes would face consequences “you’ve never experienced in your history,” he said.

More recently, Russian leaders have listed the justifications for Moscow’s use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president who is now vice president of the Russian security council, last month listed several ways Russia could be “allowed” to use its nuclear arsenal, even against nations that only use conventional weapons.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he believed the world should be prepared for Russia to resort to the use of chemical or nuclear weapons.

“Chemical weapons, they should do it, they could do it, for them people’s lives, nothing. That’s why,” Zelensky told CNN in an interview. “We should think not to be afraid, not to be afraid, but to be ready. But this is not a question for Ukraine, not just for Ukraine, but for the whole world, I think.”

Meanwhile, CIA Director William Burns said the “potential despair” could push Putin to use a tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

On Thursday, Burns said the US remains “very concerned” about the possibility of nuclear weapons being used, but said he saw no evidence that such an attack was imminent.

“Given the potential despair of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks they have faced so far, militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons. , Burns said, according to the New York Times. “We do not.”

Update 4/17/22, 8:25 am ET: This article has been updated with additional comments from Nina Khrushcheva.

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