Russian nuclear blackmail is backed by fakes and disinformation abroad

Amid recent high-profile statements by Western politicians supporting Ukraine’s right to defense against Russian invasion, the Kremlin ruler, Vladimir Putin, has ordered an exercise in the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons in the near future.

Russia says the US and its European allies are pushing the world to the brink of confrontation between nuclear powers by aiding Ukraine with weapons, some of which are being used against Russian territory.

Russia’s nuclear threats

The deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, threatened with a nuclear strike on European cities. Russia will respond with a nuclear strike on London, Paris, and Washington if Western troops are sent to Ukraine, Dmitry Medvedev said.

“Sending their troops to the territory of Ukraine will entail their countries’ direct entry into the war, to which we will have to respond. And, unfortunately, not on the territory of Ukraine. There will be a global catastrophe,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram on May 6.

Then, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that exercises would begin “in the near future” to practice the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stated that it would perceive the appearance of F-16 aircraft in Ukraine as nuclear weapons carriers, regardless of their modifications. 

The Russian Ministry of Defense also forewarned the British Ambassador that strikes on Russian territory with British weapons could target any British military facilities and equipment in Ukraine and abroad.

The West is not afraid of the Kremlin’s “escalation” threats

In the West, few were afraid. The most telling was Washington’s reaction, which officially stated that it saw no reason to adjust the readiness of its nuclear forces or Russia to use nuclear weapons.

Germany also noted that it would not make changes to its operational planning in connection with the Russian nuclear exercises. Everyone is used to such tantrums from Moscow. 

The U.S. Department of State has not yet seen any signs of a possible use of Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller noted that Russia’s nuclear rhetoric has been reckless and irresponsible throughout the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war.

NATO spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah stated that “NATO remains vigilant” and that Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible.

The spokesperson emphasized that “Ukraine has a right to self-defense enshrined in the UN Charter, and NATO Allies will continue to support this right.” 

However, “Russia started this illegal war and must end it,” Dakhlallah said.

What does the Kremlin’s propaganda say about nuclear threats?

At the same time, Kremlin propaganda has spread the narrative that “Russia’s nuclear weapons exercises are a response to the West’s statements about sending troops to Ukraine.” In fact, this is a fake.

“The exercises with non-strategic nuclear weapons are related to statements coming from the West about their readiness to send troops to Ukraine,” said Putin’s spokesman, Peskov.

But the truth is that not a single Western country has decided to send troops to Ukraine, and the nuclear weapons exercise is one of the elements of blackmail and intimidation by Western countries to stop providing logistical support to the Ukrainian forces.

Pro-Kremlin commentators support nuclear blackmail.

Former U.S. intelligence officer Scott Ritter, in an interview with U.S. columnist Andrew Napolitano, said: “Russia is preparing for tactical nuclear weapons exercises in the Southern Military District. This implies that if NATO deploys troops to Ukraine due to the disintegration of the Ukrainian army and Macron’s declaration of a red line, the Russians will not only eliminate them, but also use nuclear weapons against France.”

In fact, this is part of the Kremlin’s rhetoric, part of Russia’s nuclear blackmail. Such statements are propagandist reactions to the adoption of decisive actions and decisions by Western partners to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression. The Kremlin understands that allied countries’ support is an integral part of Ukraine’s victory over Russia, so it is trying to intimidate Western partners with nuclear blackmail and force them to stop supplying weapons to Ukraine.

Disinformation around the Kremlin’s nuclear blackmail

American journalist Clayton Morris said in his Redacted podcast: “If you listen to the corporate media or the Biden administration, you’ll hear the phrase ‘Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine’ repeated often. It is used so often as part of propaganda that people start to believe it. It is repeated by all the mainstream media, even though it is not true.”

In fact, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not provoked but was driven by Moscow’s imperialist ambitions and fear of losing control of Ukraine through its European integration.

Thus, we see a coordinated influence operation: Russian political leaders threaten almost the entire world with nuclear weapons, and pro-Russian commentators and propagandists in Western countries spread fear through manipulation and disinformation.

The Kremlin has one goal: to force the West to stop supporting Ukraine and recognize Russia’s right to keep the seized Ukrainian territories, as well as its right to change borders by military means. And this is a Pandora’s box for conflicts worldwide.

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