Wednesday, September 21, 2022

“This is probably the most delicate phase of this decades-long game of chicken,” said a senior European diplomat.


Shawn Walker, morning 

Is Putin mad enough to go nuclear as things keep going wrong? V much hope not. But curious that some of same people who said “obviously this war was going to happen, you just had to listen to Putin’s own words” now say “don’t listen to his nuclear threats, it’s clearly nonsense”.


The other nuclear states need to say very firmly that as soon as Russia even thinks of carrying out nuclear strikes …there will be swift retaliatory nuclear strikes to destroy the nuclear launch sites in Russia,” Zelenskiy advisor told me in Kyiv today


Max Seddon today 

As he addressed the nation on Wednesday morning to announce a “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 reservists, President Vladimir Putin framed Russia’s war in Ukraine in stark, existential terms. The nation was defending itself against a west that wanted to “weaken, divide and destroy Russia” and it was prepared to use nuclear weapons in response.

 Masx Seddon on March 20 (repeat)

Henry Foy, "West shrugs off Putin’s nuclear ‘bluff’"
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s moves to significantly escalate the war in Ukraine with a thinly veiled reference to his willingness to use nuclear weapons came with a theatrical flourish.
“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” he said. “It’s not a bluff.”

Yet that is exactly what western officials made of the bombast.

Putin’s announcements on Wednesday to threaten a nuclear strike, mobilise hundreds of thousands of reservists and rapidly annex parts of Ukraine were a desperate attempt to test the strength of western support for Kyiv, said officials and analysts.

But the nervousness of western capitals about the possible use of weapons of mass destruction by the world’s second-biggest nuclear power, as well as the threats of a drawn-out war and a prolonged period of higher energy and food prices, is outweighed by their resolve to call Putin’s bluff, they added.

“This is probably the most delicate phase of this decades-long game of chicken,” said a senior European diplomat....

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