Friday, February 3, 2023

Putin: Nuclear weapons in Ukraine a deterrent

KYIV ( Associated Press) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the reunification of Ukrainian territories was a major achievement and that his country’s nuclear weapons act as a deterrent in a war the Kremlin calls a “special military operation.”

Speaking to the Presidential Human Rights Council, Putin said the land grab was “an important consequence for Russia” and that “the Sea of ​​Azov has become Russia’s inland sea.” He said that “Peter the Great fought for access to the Sea of ​​Azov.”

Russia captured wide swaths of southern Ukraine in the first days of the invasion, capturing the strategic Azov Sea port of Mariupol after a siege of nearly three months. In late September, it illegally annexed four Ukrainian regions: Kherson and Zaporizhia in the south, and Donetsk and Luhansk in the east.

Asked by a member of the Human Rights Council to promise that Russia would not use nuclear weapons first, Putin said that Russia would not be able to use such weapons if it promised that it would not be the first and Then will face nuclear weapons. assault.

Putin said, “If you are not the first to use them under any circumstances, it means that you will not be the second to use them because the possibility of using them in the event of a nuclear attack on our territory is severely limited.” Will go.”

The Russian president, who has repeatedly said he is prepared to use “all available means” to defend national territory, including territories annexed to Ukraine, rejected Western criticism that such statements are tantamount to nuclear threats. are equal.

“We are not crazy. We are fully aware of what nuclear weapons are,” Putin said. “We have them and they are more advanced and state-of-the-art than any other nuclear power.”

He argued that talking about the nuclear arsenal “is not a factor that escalates conflicts, but a preventive factor.”

Nation World News Desk
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