Amid the raging war between Russia and Ukraine, the Institute for Study of War (ISW), a US-based think tank, has claimed that Russia may use nuclear threats to attempt to prevent a counter-offensive by the Ukrainian armed forces. In its latest report, the US-based think tank said Russian President Vladimir Putin could use nuclear threats to deter a counteroffensive by Ukraine in the annexed regions of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk. According to the report, such measures would put Ukraine and its allies at risk of nuclear attack, if Ukrainian counter-offensives to liberate Russian-occupied territories continue.
In its latest war update, the ISW further stated that the window of opportunity for Ukraine and its Western allies to assist a counteroffensive in occupied territory before the Kremlin annexes these regions could shrink. According to John Kirby, spokesman for the US National Security Council, the Kremlin has begun to implement a version of its 2014 “annexation playbook” in Ukraine. The Kremlin is also considering specific plans to annex Kherson, Zaporizhia, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts, he added.
Russia may use ‘sham war trials’ to punish Ukrainian soldiers (ISW)
Earlier, the ISW said Russian authorities were waiting for the opportunity to conduct “sham war trials” to punish arrested Ukrainian soldiers. Meanwhile, Igor Girkin, a military nationalist blogger and former militant Russian commander, has drawn up a long list of military, economic and political steps he thinks the Kremlin must take to win the battle in Ukraine.
He stressed that Russia must abandon the rhetoric of “special military operation” and declare the official objectives of the war in Ukraine. Girkin also pushed for territorial expansion beyond the Kremlin’s stated goals in the Donbass region.
Russia denies plans to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine
Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly asserted that it does not plan to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine in the ongoing conflict. Earlier, Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, denied the possibility of employing nuclear weapons.
However, he also pointed out that Moscow would resort to their use only if the existence of the state was in danger. It should be noted here that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for more than four months now.