Putin might use weapons of mass destruction if he can’t win in eastern Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin may resort to weapons-of mass destruction, such as chemical and tactical nukes, if it fails to win a victory for “conventional forces” in Eastern Ukraine, according to Niall Ferguson, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
CNBC’s he stated, “Those are very grave risks that the Biden administration seems not to be discounting rather more casually.” “Squawk Box Asia”On Thursday.
U.S. strategists seem to want to allow the war to go on in order to “bleed Russia dry” while hoping for a change of regime in Moscow. However, Ferguson warned that this strategy was “very dangerous”.
The Russian military has been withdrawing from the areas surrounding Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. Moscow shifts its focusAccording to Sergei Rudskoy (deputy chief of staff, Russia’s Armed Forces), the “complete Liberation” of Donbas.
In eastern Ukraine, the Donbas is home to two regions that have split from Ukraine. These are where separatists backed by Moscow and Ukrainian forces have battled since Russia illegally annexed Crimea.
Ferguson stated that Putin could find himself in “extremely difficult” circumstances if it is clear in the coming weeks that Russian forces have become too tired to win the Donbas.
He pointed out that Putin had already demonstrated his willingness to cause “horrific devastation” using conventional forces such as cruise missiles. Russia has the most nuclear weapons arsenal, while the United States is second.
Phillips O’Brien, University of St. Andrews, believes it unlikely, if certainly impossible, for Putin to use WMDs.
O’Brien suggested that WMDs could increase support for Ukraine in international terms, including weapons and sanctions against Russia. However, it is not yet clear how this weapon would aid Russia to achieve its political ends.
“They might kill people in some cities — but how does that help them win the war?” He added.
O’Brien said that there was a good chance Moscow would lose control of the east and south parts of Ukraine.
Ferguson stated that Putin’s objective isn’t necessarily to annexe Ukraine but to make sure that Ukraine’s attempts to be a Western-oriented democracy are a failure.
Washington, Europe and the United States have repeatedly said they won’t take military action against Russia. Ferguson stated that if Putin escalates with chemical or nuclear weapons, it will be a “huge problem” for policymakers. Ferguson believes this is “really quite possible.”
They face two options, he stated.
He said, “One is to continue to supply conventional weapon when a nuclear weapons has been used. Or, you can take military action, and it could lead to an escalation.”
Ferguson said, “This is the fundamental problem with strategy.” If you continue to say that you won’t take military action then it encourages the other side, in effect, to escalate in their belief that they will always retreat.”
G-7 foreign ministers warned on Thursday of “any threat or usage” of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons
Ministers stated in a statement that Russia’s use of this weapon “would be unacceptable” and would face severe consequences.
Ferguson said that the situation was “much worse” than many people think.
Ferguson explained, “That is why we cannot rule out the possibility of World War III happening,” Ferguson stated.