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Nuclear Worries Rise As Putin Declares Four Ukrainian Regions As Part Of Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared four Ukrainian regions part of Russia, amid renewed warnings the Kremlin may use a strategic nuclear weapon.

In a ceremony at the Kremlin, the authoritarian leader announced that Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia would be subsumed by Russia, following four ‘referendums’, which were widely declared as illegal and a sham.

During a speech in Moscow, the Russian leader held a minute’s silence for ‘fallen soldiers’, with thousands of troops now thought to have died in the war against Ukraine.

He told the assembled audience, of the so-called referendums  “The results are known, well known. People made their choice – the only choice.”

Earlier on Friday, Ukrainian troops reportedly ‘half-encircled’ a Russian garrison based around Yampil and Dobryshev in the east of the country. It is being reported as one of the biggest defeats of the Kremlin’s army so far.

Overnight, missiles tore through a convoy of civilian cars preparing to cross from Ukrainian-held territory near Zaporizhzhia into the Russian-occupied zone, killing at least 23 civilians, according to Reuters.

Calling the annexation “the will of millions of people” in Ukraine, he warned Kyiv to “take this expression of will with great respect” and that Russia would protect its new annexed territory “to provide safe living for our people”.

Putin also hit out at the West, describing Nato allies as “greedy” and wanting Russia to be its “colony”, accusing it of waging a “hybrid war” against the Kremlin.

“They don’t want to see us a free society. They want to see us as a crowd of slaves,” he added.

“They don’t need Russia. We need Russia!”

After days of controversy, the Nord Stream pipeline in the North Sea mysteriously exploded.

Nato issued a statement saying it was “reckless, deliberate sabotage” but fell short of blaming Russia.

Nuclear threat

This comes amid reports Russia will defend the new territory using any means, including threats of nuclear weapons from both Putin himself, and former prime minister Dmitri Medvedev.

Related: Oil Jumps On EIA Inventory Data

Sir Roderic Lyne, the former British ambassador to Russia told the BBC Putin is “trying to warn Ukrainians and the West that he is now considering these four provinces of Ukraine to be Russian territory so any attack on them is going to be treated as an attack on Russia’s territorial integrity.”

“And he [Putin] said explicitly, he will use any means to defend Russia’s territory.”

Saying the nuclear threat should be “taken seriously” – he added using them “would have a massive downside for Russia”.

By CityAM

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 30 2022 said:
    President Putin threw down the gauntlet to the United States and NATO in a speech today in Moscow by saying that he will defend the four Ukrainian regions who voted to join the motherland against any attacks with any means at his disposal, a reference to a potential use of nuclear weapons.

    Putin said that the overwhelmingly Russian population of the four regions have made their choice – which is the only choice. It is the choice if the people.

    President Biden has already threatened President Putin with catastrophic consequences if he uses nuclear weapons. So what are his options?

    1- Impose more harsh sanctions on Russia but sanctions have failed utterly to deter Putin or frighten him.

    2- Involve US-led NATO directly in the fight inside Ukraine against Russian forces. This means that NATO countries become automatically legitimate targets for Russian nuclear missiles. This could precipitate a nuclear war.

    3- Enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine but such a move could spark a direct conflict with Russia with the possibility of escalation to a nuclear war.

    4- The US could retaliate against a Russian use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine by attacking and sinking Russian Navy ships in the Black Sea. But it would lead to retaliatory strikes by Russia against American targets and could precipitate a nuclear war between them.

    Putin himself said he isn’t bluffing about the use of nuclear weapons. Against the threat of catastrophic consequences from President Biden, the risk of a nuclear war is real.

    The question is will Biden risk the destruction of his country and also Russia for the sake of Ukraine? The only rational answer is an emphatic No.

    There is faint glimmer of hope that President Biden might opt for peace and call for a ceasefire in the Ukraine and agree to address Russia’s legitimate security concerns, something he should have done before the hostilities started but for lack of statesmanship.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

Leave a comment




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