Nuclear weapons against the West? Putin would use them if war in Ukraine drags on, US warns

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, could threaten to use nuclear weapons against the West if you continue the strong ukrainian resistance to the invasion of Russia, according to a new analysis of the Defense Intelligence Agency Pentagon.

“The prolonged occupation of parts of the Ukrainian territory threatens to exhaust Russian military forces and reduce its modernized weapons arsenal, while Economic sanctions consequent probably will lead Russia into an economic depression and prolonged diplomatic isolation,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in his new 67-page summary of global threats.

The combination of challenge presented by Ukraine and economic sanctions they will threaten Russia’s “ability to produce modern precision munitions,” Berrier said in a statement prepared for the House Armed Services Committee.

“As this war and its consequences slowly weaken the Russian conventional force,” added Berrier, “Russia is likely to rely more and more on its nuclear deterrent to project its strength to its internal and external audiences.”

Biden seeks to increase global pressure

The grim assessment of the Pentagon agency about the wider effects of war is at stake on the eve of a call between presidente Joe Biden and the presidente de China, Xi Jinping.

Even as US officials struggle to discern China’s position on the war, Biden will seek Xi’s support to increase pressure on Moscow to end the conflict.

Putin already announced that he has put Russia’s nuclear arsenal on high alert. The Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Defense Intelligence Agency report.

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Unlike a global threats report Issued by multiple intelligence agencies last week with findings leading up to the Russian invasion, the new report reflects information as of Tuesday.

A senior Pentagon official told reporters Thursday that the invasion is largely stalledand that Russia is so far dependent on more than a thousand long-range missile strikes in Ukraine.

“The United States’ efforts to undermine Russia’s objectives in Ukraine, combined with its perception that the United States is a nation in decline, could prompt Russia to take more aggressive measures not only in Ukraine, but also more widely in its confrontation with the westBerrier said.

A key motivation for the invasion, he said, is Russia’s determination to “restore a sphere of influence over Ukraine and the other states of the former Soviet Union.”

He added that “despite greater than anticipated resistance from Ukraine and relatively high losses in the initial phases of the conflict, Moscow seems determined to move forward using more lethal capabilities until the Ukrainian government is ready to come to favorable terms for Russia.”

Putin’s order

Berrier said that Putin’s order in February to put the Russian nuclear forces in ‘special combat’refers to “intensified preparations designed to ensure a rapid transition to a higher state of alert if the situation requires it.”

In addition to trying to intimidate Russia’s adversaries, he said, it reflects “the Moscow’s doctrinal views on the use of nuclear weapons tactical and not strategic to force an adversary” to enter into negotiations. “which may result in the termination of the conflict on terms favorable to Russia, or deter the entry of other participants when it appears that Russia’s offensive progress of its conventional forces could be reversed or the conflict prolongs”.

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On conventional forces, Berrier said that the Russian setbacks so far in Ukraine call into question the Putin brags about the capacity of his army to deter or defeat threats with “fifth-generation fighters, state-of-the-art air and coastal defense missile systems, new surface ships and submarines, advanced tanks, modernized artillery, and improved military command and control and logistics.”

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