'Absolutely clear' Putin's nuclear threat serious for western countries, says Sergei Markov
BBC

There has been another escalation in tensions between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the West amid the continued invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian president gave a rare public address as he threatened to use nuclear weapons against the West in the latest significant moment in the conflict.

Putin is also reportedly planning for partial mobilisation which will see 300,000 additional personnel called upon to support the war in Ukraine, at least according to the country’s defence minister.

The comments come following the retreat of the Russian armed forces from Ukraine's Kharkiv region and UK and US officials have said Putin’s mobilisation and “sham referenda” are an “admission that his invasion is failing.”

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It’s far from the first time that Putin has made nuclear threats against the West.

Here is a timeline of his comments escalating tensions since the invasion began in February.

March 7 – Naming countries who took “unfriendly actions” against Russia

Putin is 'not bluffing' over nuclear threatPavel Byrkin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty

Back in March, Russian officials released a list of countries which had taken “unfriendly actions” against the country amid the invasion.

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Great Britain, including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, European Union member states, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, United States, Taiwan, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland and Japan all featured in the list.

April 14 - Sweden and Finland threatened over joining Nato

The prospect of Sweden and Finland joining NATO prompted Putin to set out a warning back in April, stating that they would strengthen their nuclear armaments if they decided to join the organisation.

Dmitry Medvedev, who is the deputy chairman of the Russia Security Council, went as far as stating that nuclear weapons would be deployed in Kaliningrad if the nations did join NATO.

May 1 - Recreation of nuclear attack on the UK and Ireland

After the UK emerged as one of the biggest allies of Ukraine in the early stages of the conflict, a simulation of a nuclear attack on the UK and Ireland was shown on Russian state TV.

State broadcaster Dmitry Kiselyov said during the clip that Russia’s Poseidon nuclear underwater drone would set off a tsunami that would "plunge the British Isles into the depths of the sea" and turn them into a "radioactive desert".

May 9 - Putin claims that the West were planning to use nuclear weapons against Russia

Putin claimed that “the West was planning to invade Russia” during the Victory Day celebrations, making baseless claims about the military intentions of the West.

He attempted to claim the war was necessary because the West was “preparing for the invasion of our land, including Crimea.”

“In Kyiv, they were saying they might get nuclear weapons and Nato started exploring the lands close to us, and that became an obvious threat to us and our borders,” another statement with no evidence to support it,” he added.

September 21 – Putin states he is ‘not bluffing’ about nuclear armament

Things stepped up once again after Putin announced he had ordered a partial military mobilisation in Russia and threatened to use nuclear weapons against the West in a major escalation of his war on Ukraine.

Putin also warned western leaders that Moscow would use “all the means” at its disposal to “protect” itself, saying: “It’s not a bluff.”

In a national address, the president accused western leaders of engaging in “nuclear blackmail” against Moscow - and said he has “lots of weapons.”

September 21 – Former Putin adviser says nuclear war would be Biden, Johnson and Truss’s fault

Former 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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