The Russian President put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Experts have been warning Putin could use a nuclear device at sea between the UK and Denmark.
Patrick Bury a lecturer in Defence and Strategic Studies at the University of Bath, told the New Scientist that there’s about a 20 percent chance that Putin’s warning over Ukraine will lead to an actual nuclear detonation.
He added that the Russian President is likely to use a small “tactical” nuclear weapon against Ukrainian troops or detonate a larger device at sea as a show of force.
Echoing the warning, Pavel Felgenhauer, a defence analyst based in Moscow, told the Scottish Press and Journal: “An option is to explode a nuclear weapon somewhere over the North Sea between Britain and Denmark and see what happens.”
He said the alternative could see Putin cutting all gas supplies to Europe, forcing it into a corner.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday in what it called a special operation to demilitarise and “denazify” the country – a justification dismissed by Kyiv and the West as propaganda.
On Tuesday, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told a Geneva disarmament meeting that Ukraine has been seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, a “real danger” that needed a Russian response.
He said: “Today the dangers that Zelensky’s regime pose for neighbouring countries and international security in general have increased substantially after the authorities set up in Kyiv have embarked upon dangerous games related to plans to acquire their own nuclear weapons.
“Ukraine still has Soviet nuclear technologies and the means of delivery of such weapons.
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Earlier, a minute of silence was held for the victims of fighting in Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has enlivened the deadlocked arms negotiating forum that has failed to reach a deal in decades despite holding over 1,600 plenary meetings.
At the same meeting, Ukraine’s foreign minister accused Russia of war crimes through its shelling of his country and the ambassador called for a special meeting to address Russian aggression and weapons of mass destruction.