By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 27 February 2022 • 15:16
Reports are coming in that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the military to put its nuclear forces on “special alert”, the highest level of alert for Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces.
The news comes as top military officials in Russia including Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, say that Western nations had taken “unfriendly actions” towards Russia and imposed “illegitimate sanctions”.
Putin cites “aggressive statements” by Nato countries in issuing the orders, with this not the first time he has indicated his willingness to use nuclear weapons.
Last week, Putin warned that “whoever tries to hinder us” would see consequences “you have never seen in your history” – words that were interpreted as signalling a threat to use nuclear weapons if the West stood in his way.
Moving the troops to high alert does is not an indication that Putin intends to use his nuclear arsenal, however it does mean that Russia would be in a position to do so quickly if required. It is also his way of warning the West to stay out of the way as sanctions begin to bite.
According to military experts Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, but it is also well known that the west has enough to destroy Russia completely a fact that it would be surprising if Putin were not aware of also.
The move though is more likely a deterrent to NATO countries coming to the aid of Ukraine, effectively creating a fear that he is willing to go too far in his desire to once again control the country.
The question now is how will the West react to Putin’s orders to put his strategic nuclear force on high alert.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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