We’ve heard it from Vladimir Putin himself. We’ve heard it from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. But just in case we somehow missed the message, a political scientist and longtime supporter of Putin by the name of Sergey Mikheev went on Russian state television this week to make their point absolutely crystal clear. If the United States, NATO, or any other western nation sends any sort of military peacekeeping force into Ukraine, Russia will start unloading their nuclear arsenal on everyone. This time the warning wasn’t even subtle, though. Mikheev actually sounded excited or perhaps even exuberant over the idea. He also had a list of targets at hand. Near the top of the list was Warsaw, with Berlin and the capitals of some other EU members not far behind. (Free Beacon)
A Russian political scientist tied to President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow will launch a nuclear strike on Europe if a NATO peacekeeping force is deployed to intervene in Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
“This would mean nuclear war. Yes!” Sergey Mikheev, a Putin loyalist, said in a recent interview on Russian state-controlled television. Mikheev said that Warsaw “would be instantly destroyed” and that Germany, Estonia, and the Baltic states would also be hit, according to video of the appearance published by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which has been tracking the conflict.
“We need to convey a simple message to Europe: You will receive a nuclear strike in European territory if you form some sort of a NATO peacekeeping contingent, if you decide to deploy this contingent somewhere and so forth,” Mikheev said.
Here’s Mister Mikheev delivering his message to NATO and the world.
So there is no longer any suggestion of subtlety coming from the Russians at this point. In the runup to the invasion and for a short time afterward, Putin was at least being a little bit cagey, suggesting there could be serious “repercussions” if the west interfered. There were reminders of how easily his missiles could reach European capitals. But he wasn’t going so far as to bluntly talk about global thermonuclear war.
In reality, this is pretty much all that Putin has left in his bag of tricks, assuming that Mad Vlad is still in control of his senses well enough to grasp all of this realistically. If you’re getting your news from literally anywhere other than Russian state-operated television, you’ve seen the current state of the Russian military. Their soldiers were being outperformed and driven back by volunteers from one of the poorest countries in Europe. Their tanks and armor were constantly breaking down, assuming anyone remembered to bring along some gasoline for them. Their air force barely showed up at all and many of the jets that did make it into Ukrainian skies were shot down by shoulder-fired rockets. If The United States military, aligned with some NATO allies, actually engaged Russia in a land war we would probably mop them up in a matter of a week or two.
So the only thing that the Madman of Moscow has left is the threat of his nuclear arsenal. And it’s a powerful threat to be sure. But would he use it? There are a lot of nuclear weapons pointing back at him. Some are on land, while others are hiding under the sea. I hate to sound like I’m echoing Mikheev here, but if Russia fires first, Moscow will be a slowly cooling pool of radioactive glass in a matter of hours. Of course, that assumes that the leaders in the west have the intestinal fortitude to pull the trigger. That’s the real nightmare scenario if you ask me. Would we really let Putin get away with launching a nuke at a population center? I would hope not, but these days, how can we really be sure?