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11 Mar, 2024 14:44

Kremlin shuts down nuclear strike ‘speculation’

CNN’s claim that Russia entertained the use of nukes in Ukraine doesn’t deserve an official response, Dmitry Peskov says
Kremlin shuts down nuclear strike ‘speculation’

A CNN report suggesting that Russian officials discussed the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine is mere “speculation” that does not “merit any comment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

In an article promoting his upcoming book, CNN national security reporter Jim Sciutto claimed on Saturday that US officials began “preparing rigorously” for Russia to potentially use nuclear weapons in Ukraine in late 2022. Among the scenarios considered were Moscow blaming Kiev for using a so-called “dirty bomb,” or ordering a conventional nuclear strike in response to a perceived threat to the Russian state.

According to Sciutto, Western intelligence agencies “received information that there were now communications among Russian officials explicitly discussing a nuclear strike.”

Peskov dismissed Sciutto’s claims. “This is the type of speculation that is published in various newspapers,” the Kremlin spokesman told reporters. “I don’t think it merits any comment.”

Russian nuclear doctrine allows for the use of atomic weapons in the event of a first nuclear strike on its territory or infrastructure, or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened by either nuclear or conventional weapons. This position has not changed since 2010, and makes no exception for the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

In his annual state-of-the-nation speech last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin reminded Western leaders that escalatory steps – such as deploying NATO troops to Ukraine – would increase “the threat of a conflict involving nuclear weapons, and therefore, the destruction of civilization.”

During his speech, Putin insisted that recent claims by Western officials that Moscow was planning to attack NATO territory were “nonsense.”