Russia declares it will not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Russia’s foreign ministry has insisted that the deployment of nuclear weapons is incompatible with Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine.

‚ÄúScenarios of the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia are in the national doctrine,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev said today, “nuclear weapons cannot be used for operational missions in Ukraine.”

“Russia adheres to the principle ‘there is no winner in nuclear war’, it will not happen,” Zaitsev stressed.

Smoke and fire of war from the Azovstal Steel Plant in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine on May 5.  Photo: Reuters.

Smoke and fire of war from the Azovstal Steel Plant in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine on May 5. Picture: Reuters.

Previously, Western officials openly discussed the risk of Russia stationing nuclear weapons in Ukraine. William Burns, director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), said April 14 that “no one can take lightly the risk of Russia using tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons.”

Burns’ comments came on the same day as Russia’s Deputy Security Council Chairman Dmitry Medvedev warned that if Sweden and Finland joined NATO, Russia would increase troops on its western flank and deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles to Kaliningrad.

Tactical nuclear weapons and low-yield nuclear weapons are designed for use on the battlefield. Some experts estimate that Russia possesses about 2,000 such weapons, which can be passed on to air, naval and ground forces.

Medvedev once cited four cases of Russia using nuclear weapons, including the country being attacked with a nuclear missile or using a nuclear weapon to harm Russia and its allies. The third case is when Russia is attacked by critical infrastructure that cripples its nuclear deterrent. The fourth case is when there is hostilities against Russia and its allies, threatening the country’s existence even with conventional weapons, except nuclear ones.

President Putin has since February called on the Defense Ministry to place strategic deterrent forces, including those carrying nuclear weapons, on high alert and on alert to take orders. However, British and US officials say they have seen no significant changes in Russia’s nuclear force following Putin’s alarm.

Duc Trung (Corresponding TASS/Reuters)