Vladimir Putin’s ‘fundamentalist mindset’ could lead him to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine: journalist

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Within days of launching his “special military operation” in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin began threatening to tap into Russia’s vast atomic arsenal to deter the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization from aiding the Ukrainians in the fight for their democratic nation’s right to exist. Throughout the last eight months, scores of analysts have picked apart Putin’s bluster and ruminated over the likelihood of a nuclear strike actually happening.

President Joe Biden along with numerous officials in his administration have warned Putin of “catastrophic consequences” if he shatters the fissile taboo, and intelligence reports have consistently indicated that Moscow has not made any significant moves that would suggest that such an attack is imminent. This has led to a generalized agreement that the chances of Putin unleashing the bomb are low, even as his invasion forces face recurring setbacks and catastrophic losses of blood, steel, and strategy.

On Tuesday, however, columnist Masha Gessen published a piece in The New Yorker explaining why the West’s cautious optimism may be perilously misplaced.

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin has ‘less kinetic’ ways to ‘intimidate the West’ than deploying nuclear weapons: report

“The more the Kremlin has signaled its readiness to drop a nuclear bomb, the more the rest of the world has sought a reason to believe that it will not,” writes Gessen, noting several examples of individuals with expertise on the matter.

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