Russia is ready for nuclear war - PUTIN warns the West


Wednesday, March 13, 2024 – Russia's President, Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday, March 13 that Russia was technically ready for nuclear war and that if the U.S. sent troops to Ukraine, it would be considered a major escalation of the war.

Putin, speaking just days before a March 15-17 election that will give him another six years in power, said the nuclear war scenario was not "rushing" up and he saw no need for the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

"From a military-technical point of view, we are, of course, ready," Putin, 71, told Rossiya-1 television and news agency RIA in response to a question whether the country was really ready for a nuclear war.

Putin said the U.S. knew that if it deployed American troops on Russian territory or to Ukraine, Russia would treat the move as an intervention.

"(In the U.S.) there are enough specialists in the field of Russian-American relations and in the field of strategic restraint," said Putin.

"Therefore, I don't think that here everything is rushing to it (nuclear confrontation), but we are ready for this."

Putin has sent a series of public nuclear warnings to the U.S. aimed at discouraging greater involvement in Ukraine - a move the Kremlin says would mark a slide into world war.

Washington says it has seen no major changes to Russia's nuclear posture but Putin's public nuclear warnings are now eliciting concern in Washington.

Putin sent soldiers into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering full-scale war after eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces on one side and pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russian proxies on the other.

The war in Ukraine has triggered the deepest crisis in Russia's relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and Putin has warned several times the West risks provoking a nuclear war if it sends troops to fight in Ukraine.

Putin's nuclear warning came alongside another offer for talks on Ukraine. The U.S. says Putin is not ready for serious talks over Ukraine.

In a U.S. election year, the West is struggling with how to support Kyiv against Russia, which now controls almost one-fifth of Ukrainian territory and is producing artillery much faster than the West and Ukraine.

Kyiv says it is defending itself against an imperial-style war of conquest designed to erase its national identity. Russia says the areas it controls in Ukraine are now Russia.

Putin reiterated the use of nuclear weapons was spelt out in the Kremlin's nuclear doctrine, which sets out the conditions under which it would use such a weapon: broadly a response to an attack using nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, or the use of conventional weapons against Russia "when the very existence of the state is put under threat."

"Weapons exist in order to use them," Putin said. "We have our own principles."

"Russia is ready for negotiations on Ukraine, but they should be based on reality - and not on cravings after the use of psychotropic drugs," Putin said.

Putin said he trusts no one and Russia would need written security guarantees in the event of a settlement.

"I don't trust anyone, but we need guarantees, and guarantees must be spelled out, they must be such that we would be satisfied," Putin said.

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