Updated March 14th, 2024 at 09:38 IST

Putin Says Russia is 'Ready' for Nuclear War if its Sovereignty is Threatened

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Moscow is “ready” to use nuclear weapons if Russia faces any “threat to existence”.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a visit to a military base in the Ryazan region of Russia. | Image:AP

Moscow –  Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Moscow is “ready” to use nuclear weapons if Russia faces any “threat to existence”. During an interview with Russian news outlet RIA Novosti, Putin maintained that from a “military and technical point of view” Russia is ready if such a situation arises. The comments from the Russian leader came as the country braces itself for the upcoming Russian Presidential elections which are scheduled to take place on March 15. However, Putin has made similar threats in the past with many world leaders calling his proclamations “concerning”.  

"From a military-technical point of view, of course, we are ready," the Russian leader averred in the interview which was published by the Russian news outlet on Wednesday.  “We have them with us all the time, constantly in a state of combat readiness,” he added. During the interview, the Russian leader warned that if the US deployed its troops to Ukraine, Russia would consider them as “interventionists”. “Apart from (US President Joe) Biden, there are enough other experts in the sphere of Russian-American relations and strategic restraint. So I don’t think that everything is going to go head-on here, but we are ready for it,” Putin said. The Russian leader mentioned that the United States is also developing nuclear forces. However, he remarked that Americans might not be ready to “launch a nuclear war tomorrow.” “They are now setting tasks to increase this modernity, innovation, they have a corresponding plan. We know about it too. They are developing all their components. So are we,” Putin said. “Weapons exist in order to use them. We have our own principles," he furthered. 


Russia's nuclear prowess becomes a matter of concern for the West 

It is pertinent to note that Russia sees its large and diverse nuclear weapons stockpile as an important tool in its brewing conflict against the West. The US intelligence community believed that as Russia continues to struggle on the battlefield against Ukraine, the risk of Russia using its nuclear prowess becomes more apparent. “Russia’s inability to achieve quick and decisive battlefield wins, coupled with Ukrainian strikes within Russia, continues to drive concerns that Putin might use nuclear weapons,” the intelligence community wrote in its annual unclassified threat assessment which was released on Monday. According to an exclusive report featured in a new book by CNN’s Jim Sciutto, the United States began “preparing rigorously” for Russia to potentially strike Ukraine with a tactical battlefield nuclear weapon, in late 2022. 


Last year, Putin announced the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons to neighbouring ally Belarus. Not only this, Former Russian President and deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev further stated that the strategic nuclear weapons could be used to defend territories incorporated into Russia from Ukraine. Meanwhile, in his latest interview, Putin maintained that Russia would be willing to negotiate with Ukraine, but only if the negotiation is based on reality. “Are we ready for negotiations? Yes, we are ready, but only ready for negotiations, not based on some desires after the use of psychotropic drugs, but based on the realities that have developed, as they say in such cases, on the ground,” he said. 


Published March 14th, 2024 at 09:34 IST