Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be placed on “special alert,” the highest degree of alert available to the country’s Strategic Missile Forces.
He told senior military leaders, including Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, that Western countries had taken “unfriendly steps” against Russia and implemented “illegitimate sanctions.”
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President Vladimir Putin has ordered that nuclear forces be placed on “special” alert. This comes after Nato members made “aggressive comments,” according to Moscow.
As his invasion of Ukraine began, Russia’s Putin had already delivered a coded warning that he was willing to use nuclear weapons.
He threatened last week that “anyone attempts to obstruct us” will face “consequences you have never seen in your history.”
If the West stood in his way, these statements were generally understood as a threat to deploy nuclear weapons.
The extremely public switch to high alert status is Moscow’s approach of sending a message. It’s probable that switching to alert state will make it simpler to launch weapons more rapidly. However, this does not imply that they are currently being considered for usage.
Russia possesses the world’s greatest nuclear arsenal, but it is also aware that Nato has enough nuclear weapons to destroy Russia if they are deployed.
However, the goal is likely to be to prevent Nato support for Ukraine by instilling doubts about how far he is ready to go and uncertainty about what level of support for Ukraine he will deem excessive.
The United States of America’s Response:
President Putin’s decision to put Kremlin’s nuclear forces on “special” alert has elicited a response from the United States.
Although the move makes it simpler to fire missiles, BBC security reporter Gordon Corera believes it is more of a warning to Nato than a declaration of willingness to use them.
In an interview with CBS News, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield termed the decision “wrong.”
“It suggests that President Putin is continuing to escalate this conflict in an unacceptably aggressive manner, and we must continue to exert maximum pressure on him,” she added.