Will Putin use the nuclear bomb in the Ukraine conflict?
New Delhi, Feb 28: With Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering his nuclear force to be in a state of alert, the threat of Moscow using a nuclear bomb amidst the ongoing Ukraine war looks real.
On whether he would or would not use the nuclear bomb, he had told a documentary maker four years back that if someone tries to destroy Russia, then we have the legal right to respond. Yes, it would be a catastrophe for humanity and for the world. But, I am a citizen of Russia and its head. Why do we need a world without Russia in it, he had also said.
First Putin ordered special military operation for Ukraine and now he asked his nuclear force to be on a special regime of combat duty. What has drawn the attention of the world is the use of the word, 'special' in both his directives.
While a large part of the world criticises the military action in Ukraine, Putin says that this is a retaliation against the West. He has accused them of breaking promises to maintain arms balance in Russia's neighbourhood.
Coming back to the nuclear threat, Putin while announcing the military action in Ukraine also had a warning for the West. He said that anyone who comes in the way of Russia will see consequences that they had never seen in history. This could be a hint about the use of nuclear force.
The question now is what will NATO do if Putin decides to use the nuclear missile. NATO does not own a nuclear weapon and its weapons are those belonging to the US, UK and France and Paris does not commit itself to using nuclear weapons.
The US' nuclear weapons are in pre-deployment state and are kept at six bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Netherlands. The US maintains full custody of these weapons and Joe Biden has played down the idea of a direct confrontation with Russia.
If Russia decides to use a nuclear weapon on Ukraine it would be devastating and more severe that what was witnessed in Japan in 1945. That was the first and only time that a nuclear weapon was used.