Ex-Russian Foreign Minister Reveals Precisely When Putin Might Pull the Trigger on Nuclear Weapons

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Russian President Vladimir Putin would only consider nuclear weapons if he felt an “existential threat” to his country or regime, according to foreign policy experts.

“They could be used, but in very, very specific situations,” former Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev told Fox News Digital. “If Russia or any of these countries are really threatened in their hearts – existentially, that is… if NATO troops come to Moscow, then they will probably resort to nuclear weapons. ”

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“But there is no existential threat to Russia in the current circumstances,” Kozyrev said.

Russia has changed course in recent weeks after failing to take kyiv despite a month-long campaign in northern Ukraine. The Russian military claimed to have achieved its phase one goal and would instead focus on securing the Donbass region – a move some have called a “consolation prize” to make up for the “sacrifice”.

Heritage Foundation senior researcher Brent Sadler suggested that Putin could use a tactical nuclear strike if Russia faced a “crushing military defeat” in Donbass.

“It could be the case where a tactical nuclear weapon could be considered to show resolve and fundamentally reverse any trend going on in the Russian military,” Sadler said. “I don’t see them using city killers, because that would definitely usher in World War III, and the assumption is that if he does, he attacks NATO.”

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Putin reiterated his nuclear threats following an indication from Finland and Sweden that the two may consider seeking NATO membership in June when current member nations meet in Madrid, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that “all countries should be concerned” about Putin and his nuclear weapons threats.

But Kozyrev, author of ‘The Firebird: The Elusive Fate of Russian Democracy’, said it was ‘absolutely’ a ‘bark’ with ‘no possibility of a bite’ from the leader Russian.

“Responsible military commanders will do everything to avoid such a scenario and to prevent the use of nuclear weapons unless they believe there is an existential threat to their homeland,” he stressed.

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Putin has sometimes treated the very existence of NATO as an existential threat to Russia, but Kozyrev has insisted that as long as Putin can maintain his regime, he will do nothing to threaten his position in power.

In this image taken from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, April 12, 2022.
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In this image taken from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, April 12, 2022.
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Part of the difficulty in trying to predict Putin’s potential moves is that the West continues to project its own thinking and logic onto Moscow, which Sadler says is a “real bad trend” among Western leaders.

“For Putin, I think there is a tendency to reflect the image of the United States,” Sadler explained. “We are improving through engagement, and the Ukrainian people are helping us understand better, but there is a real danger here.

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“And it’s difficult now because Putin has largely isolated himself and only engages with a group of trusted advisers,” he added, saying Putin could make unforeseen calculations of the western point of view.

Frederick Kagan, director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, went further, saying Putin operates within a “bounded rationality,” which he equated with talking about “in-universe” explanations for movies. or TV shows.

“There’s definitely a fictional universe that Putin operates in, and he has in-universe explanations for what he’s doing,” Kagan said. “And that’s a problem because clearly he doesn’t, he believes everything the Kremlin says, which is tricky about that.”

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Kagan said the United States was operating within this same framework during the Cold War and that officials at the time were more aware that the Russians were operating on a different logical path than the West.

“We know it’s not the real world – it’s clear: it doesn’t make rational decisions in the real world, but we also know it’s not the fictional universe the Kremlin is manufacturing” , Kagan added. “It’s closer to the real world than that, but how hard it is to tell.”

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