(FreedomBeacon.com)- According to foreign policy analysts, Russian President Vladimir Putin would only contemplate nuclear weapons if his country or government faced an “existential threat.”
Former Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev announced that they might be deployed. Still, under particular conditions, like if NATO forces arrive in Moscow and feel genuinely threatened existentially, they will probably turn to nuclear weapons.
In recent weeks, Russia has changed its approach after failing to seize Kyiv following a month-long battle in northern Ukraine. The Russian military claimed to have accomplished phase one of its objective. It would now concentrate on controlling the Donbas region, which some have referred to as a compensation reward for the sacrifice.
According to Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Brent Sadler, Putin may use a tactical nuclear strike if Russia suffers an overwhelming military loss in Donbas.
Sadler believes that in that circumstance, a tactical nuclear bomb may be contemplated to demonstrate resolve and, in effect, reverse any trends in the Russian military. He doesn’t see them deploying city killers because it would inevitably lead to World War III, and it’s assumed that he’ll be targeting NATO if he does.
Following Finland and Sweden’s announcements that they may apply for NATO membership in June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that all countries should be concerned about Putin and his nuclear weapons threats.
Kozyrev said it is “absolutely a case of barking with no way to bite” from the Russian leader.
He also added that a responsible military leader would do all possible to avoid such a catastrophe and avert nuclear weapons deployment unless they consider their nation is under an existential threat.
Putin has considered NATO’s existence an existential danger to Russia at times. Still, Kozyrev emphasized that as long as Putin can keep his government in power, he will not do anything to jeopardize it.
Part of the problem in predicting Putin’s probable movements is that the West continues to project its logic and thinking onto Moscow, which Sadler described as a bad tendency among western leaders.
Sadler believes the United States tends to expect Putin’s behavior to be that of a westerner. And it’s difficult now because Putin has largely isolated himself and is only engaging with a small group of trusted advisors. Putin could make unanticipated calculations from a western perspective.
The American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick Kagan, Director of the Critical Threats Project, went even farther, saying that Putin operates in bounded rationality, which he compared to discussing in-universe explanations for movies or TV episodes.
Kagan believes Putin is functioning in a fictitious universe. He has in-universe excuses for what he’s doing, and that’s an issue because it’s evident he doesn’t accept everything the Kremlin says, which is what makes this complicated.
During the Cold War, Kagan said, the US functioned within the same framework, and authorities were more conscious that the Russians operated on a separate logical track than the West.
Kagan concluded that Putin isn’t making reasonable judgments in the real world – but we also know it’s not the Kremlin’s fictional universe. It’s closer to the actual world than that, but it’s difficult to determine how near.