Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Putin warns the West that sending troops to Ukraine risks a nuclear war

By 37ci3 Feb29,2024


Russian President Vladimir Putin intensified his threats Against Western countries They risked global nuclear war if they sent troops to Ukraine, it warned on Thursday.

In his annual state of the nation address ahead of next month’s presidential election, Putin threatened to win. He spoke for more than two hours in front of the Russian Federal Assembly, which is usually surrounded by heavy security and cordoned off streets, in Moscow’s vast and magnificent Gostiny Dvor conference center, a stone’s throw from the Kremlin.

Putin covered a range of topics, from Russia’s low birth rate to the need for better broadband coverage. But the main topic of the agenda was his warning about the deepening of Western involvement in Ukraine.

His comments came after French President Emmanuel Macron suggested this week that NATO allies might send troops to Ukraine in the future, rather than only indirectly financing and arming the country. Macron’s proposal was swiftly rejected by the US and others, but Putin said such a development would risk a wider war with potentially apocalyptic consequences.

“It’s very dangerous because it could actually lead to the use of nuclear weapons,” he said. “Don’t they understand that?”

The Russian leader has said his strategic nuclear forces are “at full readiness” and suggested the hypersonic nuclear weapon he first mentioned in 2018 was nearing full readiness — a claim that could not be verified.

Putin has made such threats frequently over the past two years following his large-scale invasion of Ukraine. But this week’s warning was, according to some observers, his most striking to date.

Vladimir Putin's speech in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver his annual address to the nation on Thursday in Moscow.Alexander Nemenov / AFP – Getty Images

Putin’s annual address comes at a crucial time for the Kremlin, as its forces advance in Ukraine ahead of elections that will strengthen his rule. The death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and a series of domestic problems have fueled criticism both at home and abroad, but growing signs of shaky Western support for Kiev will bolster Putin.

On Monday, Macron caused an uproar by saying the West should not “rule out” the possibility of sending troops into Ukraine. It would be a major practical and symbolic step in allied support for Kiev, which has so far continued to devote billions of dollars to its defense but has deliberately refused to send forces for fear of starting a direct war with nuclear-armed Russia.

The United States and others quickly poured cold war on the idea, with the White House saying it was “clear that the United States will not send troops to fight in Ukraine.”

Mark Galeotti, head of consulting firm Mayak Intelligence and emeritus professor at University College London, said Macron had given Putin a “propaganda gift” because it reinforced the Russian leader’s narrative that Moscow is fighting not just Ukraine, but the West as a whole.

Galeotti told NBC News that during Putin’s speech, “His mention of a potential NATO deployment to Ukraine was, in my view, less about warning the West and more about using it to reinforce the message that this is a fight against the entire collective West.” . “Macron gave him something of a propaganda gift.”



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