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Russia could use nuclear weapons if Putin suspects an “existential threat”.

The Kremlin’s main mouthpiece has refused to rule out nuclear war – and readily warns that President Vladimir Putin could use nuclear weapons if he perceives an “existential threat”.

Dmitry Peskov was repeated pressed on CNN on Tuesday about Russia’s nuclear arsenal being placed on high alert, which interviewer Christiane Amanpour told him had “terrified the world”.

“President Putin wants the world to hear and understand our concerns,” the Kremlin spokesman said when asked if Putin would “use” the nuclear option.

“We have a concept of internal security and it’s public, you can read all the reasons for using nuclear weapons,” he said, urging it again.

“Well, if it’s an existential threat to our country, then [the nuclear arsenal] can be used according to our concept,” he warned.

While Putin’s key spokesman did not specifically address what would be considered an “existential threat,” he repeated unsubstantiated claims that Ukraine was attempting to build its own nuclear arsenal.

“We tried for a couple of decades to take our concerns out into the world – to Europe, to the United States – but nobody would listen to us,” the Kremlin spokesman complained.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Vladimir Putin had not ruled out the use of nuclear weapons if it came to that.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Vladimir Putin had not ruled out the use of nuclear weapons.
CNN
A car destroyed by shelling is seen on a street in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 22, 2022.
A car destroyed by shelling on a street in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 22, 2022.
AP Photo/Andrew Marienko

“And before it’s too late, it was a decision to start – to launch a special operation, a military operation, to get rid of the anti-Russia created next to our borders,” he said.

To Amanpour’s apparent amazement, Peskov insisted that modern Ukraine “was created by Western countries” just to be “anti-Russian.”

He also claimed the Kremlin had “very strong reasons to believe and very strong evidence” that the US had developed “biolaboratory programs” in Ukraine.

Cars and buildings burn after shelling as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues in Mykolaiv, Ukraine.
Cars and buildings burn after shelling as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues in Mykolaiv, Ukraine.
Press Service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS
has claimed "very strong reason to believe and very strong evidence" that the US has "develops Biolabs programs" in Ukraine.
The Kremlin claimed it had “very strong reasons to believe and very strong evidence” that the US had developed “biolaboratory programs” in Ukraine.
Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool photo via AP

“That’s the reality we face,” he said.

Just days after his invasion last month, Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear forces put on “increased combat duty” over its unsubstantiated claims about NATO threats.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres later said: “The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now again within the realm of possibility.”

A Ukrainian firefighter shouts to a colleague as he tries to put out a fire at a house destroyed by shelling March 23, 2022 in Kyiv.
A Ukrainian firefighter shouts to a colleague as he tries to put out a fire at a house destroyed by shelling March 23, 2022 in Kyiv.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
Neighbors carry parts of broken windows from apartments damaged by Russian bombing March 23, 2022.
Neighbors carry parts of broken windows from apartments damaged by Russian bombing March 23, 2022.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

During his CNN interview on Tuesday, Peskov dismissed rumors that the “military special operation” in Ukraine had suffered embarrassing setbacks and delays.

“It will be carried out strictly according to the plans and with the purposes set out beforehand,” he said.

He also denied that Russia had attacked civilians, despite overwhelming eyewitness accounts and Ukraine’s claims that at least 121 children were among the dead.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a cabinet meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow via video conference.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a cabinet meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow via video conference.
Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool photo via AP
A map showing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A map showing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We will hurt Nazis, not ordinary people and civilians. Targeting civilians for our military is forbidden,” he said, dismissing reports to the contrary as “propaganda.”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/23/russia-could-use-nuclear-weapons-if-putin-suspects-existential-threat/ Russia could use nuclear weapons if Putin suspects an “existential threat”.

JACLYN DIAZ

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