We have to watch out for Russian defeats. For CIA chief William Burns, the military setbacks in Ukraine could persuade Vladimir Putin to use a nuclear weapon in this country.
“Given that President Putin and the Russian leadership may sink into despair, given the setbacks they have suffered so far from a military perspective, none of us can bear the threat posed by a potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or small-energy nuclear weapons ‘ he said during a speech in Atlanta on Thursday.
Asked this Friday by the American broadcaster CNN if he shared this concern, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy replied: “Not only me, I think that the whole world, all countries, should be concerned. He explained that this concern is about “nuclear weapons” or “chemical weapons”. “They can do it”, “Human lives are worth nothing to them”.
The Kremlin has spoken of putting its nuclear forces on alert, “but we haven’t really seen concrete signs like deployments or military action that might compound our concerns,” added the chief of America’s top intelligence agency, speaking to students at Georgia Technical University.
“Of course we are very concerned. I know that President Biden is deeply concerned about the risk of World War III and is doing everything possible to avoid the point where nuclear conflict becomes a possibility,” added William Burns.
An “explosive mixture of grievances, ambition and insecurity”
Russia, according to its “escalation-de-escalation” doctrine, has many tactical nuclear weapons less powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, which would consist of first using a low-powered nuclear weapon in the event of a conventional conflict in order to regain the advantage with the West.
But this hypothesis implies that “during this conflict, NATO is militarily intervening on the ground in Ukraine, and that, as the President has clarified, is not planned,” he said.
William Burns recalled being United States Ambassador to Moscow and had no words harsh enough to describe a “vengeful,” “stubborn” Vladimir Putin who, over the years, had descended into an “explosive mix out of grievances, ambition and insecurity” sank. “Putin demonstrates every day that falling power can be just as destabilizing as rising power,” he added.