Putin warns west 'I'm not bluffing' over nuclear weapons as he declares …

Vladimir Putin has escalated talk of nuclear war once again after announcing a partial mobilisation of military forces and warning leaders he ‘wasn’t bluffing’ over talk of nuclear threats.

The Russian president said he would use "all the means available to us” in a special address to the nation on Wednesday.

He warned against “nuclear blackmail” in a thinly veiled threat to the West and threatened to respond with the Russian arsenal of weapons.

“We are talking about partial mobilisation, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military speciality and relevant experience,” Putin said.

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The address has led to discussions on the prospect of nuclear war as the topic is in the headlines front and centre once again.

But how close are we to nuclear war?

It is of course impossible to state anything with any certainty at this stage. The UN, at least, thinks it’s an unlikely prospect though.

The UN’s secretary general Jens Stoltenerg spoke about Putin and said: “He knows very well that a nuclear war should never be fought and cannot be won, and it will have unprecedented consequences for Russia.”

Putin's talk of nuclear tension is the latest escalation in the invasion of UkraineGetty/Creative Commons

He did however call the threats “dangerous and reckless”.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky also believes that things will not escalate to nuclear war.

“I don’t believe that he will use these weapons. I don’t think the world will allow him to use these weapons,” he said.

Ben Wallace, the UK defence secretary weighed in following the latest comments from Putin and said “no amount of threats and propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war”.

The US has revealed it is taking things very seriously, though. John Kirby is the spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council and he stated: “It’s irresponsible rhetoric for nuclear power to talk that way. But it’s not atypical for how he’s been talking the last seven months and we take it very seriously.”

He added: “We’re monitoring as best we can – their strategic posture. So if we have to, we can alter ours. We’ve seen no indication that that’s required right now.”

Radio 4 held two interviews this week with contrasting sentiments about the possibility of nuclear war.

The former British ambassador to Russia, Sir Laurie Bristow, told the channel’s Today programme that he believes the use of nuclear arms would only harm Russia’s position.

“Russia has no more interest in getting into direct conflict with Nato than Nato does with Russia,” he said.

However, things got heated this week when a former close advisor to Putin, Sergei Markov, was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if Russia thinks a nuclear war could be won.

He said: “I would say that everybody in this world now is thinking about nuclear war.

“This nuclear war could be a result of the crazy behaviour of the president of the United States Joe Biden and prime ministers of Great Britain Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

“Biden, Johnson and Truss are fully responsible for the war in Ukraine.”

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