Is Vladimir Putin really prepared to use nuclear weapons? – podcast | News

Vladimir Putin proclaimed in a speech on Friday that Russia had annexed four regions of Ukraine and gathered his top officials to listen to him. He not only outlined how he would defend the annexed territories with conventional military force, but made alarming references to the precedent set by the US use of nuclear power against Japan in World War II.

Annexing the four regions sends a signal that Putin is willing to defend these hotly contested areas as he would the rest of Russia — with nuclear power. But Russia’s position in the war currently appears weaker, with growing discontent among Russians over Putin’s attempt to mobilize an additional 300,000 troops from the population and amid Ukraine’s recent significant reclamation of territory.

As Andrew Roth Narrator Michael Safi, this less powerful position could hold the answer to why Putin chooses to turn up the nuclear rhetoric. But how seriously should we take his threat? And how will the West, Ukraine and the rest of the world react?

Archive: BBC, CBS, France 24, CNBC, pool clips, TVP World, TIME, Sky News, CNN, ABC, Today

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during a meeting with nuclear industry workers on their professional holiday, Nuclear Industry Worker's Day, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, September 23, 2020. Putin's threats to use "all means at our disposal" defending his country while waging war in Ukraine has raised global fears that he could use his nuclear arsenal, with the world's largest stockpile of warheads.  (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

Photo: Mikhail Metzel/AP

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