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Fearless of Putin’s Nuclear Threats | News | T.W.

Fearless of Putin’s Nuclear Threats |  News |  T.W.

Fear paralyzes us. Fear weakens us. Fear prevents us from seeing things clearly. Nothing scares us more than Russian President Vladimir Putin’s renewed threat of nuclear war. Because it will mean our downfall, disaster, end.

The existential fear for the survival of the planet and all of humanity can be expressed in numbers: According to current polls, 58 percent of Americans fear Russia is heading us toward nuclear war; In Germany, 49 percent.

Fear has long gripped politicians, the military and experts. One example: Political scientist Gerhard Mankot, an expert on Russian issues at the University of Innsbruck, warned on public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that if Ukraine continues to gain territory and acquire modern weapons from the West, Russia will only have “nuclear expansion.” “Increasing likelihood” if he continues to retreat defensively.

He who gives up loses

What else is there but wanting to prevent the worst? A concession to Putin if necessary, right? Well, that would be a bad option. If the West succumbs to Putin’s nuclear threat, it stands to lose.

Joska Weber, head of DW’s fact-checking team.

Ukraine will have to accept significant territorial losses, and the countries of Eastern Europe will be rightly suspicious of the support of the EU and the United States. NATO could trash its own deterrence strategy outright.

In short: Putin would have won. It could use those tactics again, American historian Timothy Snyder of Yale University concludes in an overlooked essay: “Subduing to the nuclear threat will not end conventional war in Ukraine. In fact, it will make future nuclear wars more likely.”

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Fear is always a bad advisor, especially in situations like this. By appealing to one’s own arsenal, it takes determination, unity and strength to counter the threat of the bomb.

Deterrence needs to be credible and consistent, and everything else encourages Putin. This is what happened in 2013, when then-US President Barack Obama drew a “red line” on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, which Russian-backed ruler Bashar al-Assad then crossed without Western intervention. directly into battle.

Or in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, in clear violation of international law, and the West watched. Both events may have emboldened Putin to take aggressive action against Ukraine.

Moscow has a lot to lose

What Putin wants to create with his hybrid military, energy and disinformation war is fear. Despite all the legitimate concerns about a nuclear disaster, it is important to remain calm. For example, it tells us that Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons from the beginning of the war without taking any steps to mobilize his nuclear forces.

Pushing the nuclear red button in a corner is by no means automatic. Neither the Soviet Union nor the United States did so in their infamous actions in Afghanistan or Vietnam.

And for an often overlooked reason: A nuclear aggressor automatically fails. He couldn’t do anything to the irradiated area and he would have no allies after that. China, India and others will look back at Russia, it is already clear. Domestically, such a coup against the supposedly liberated sister nation of Ukraine could cost the Russian president legitimacy and support. Don’t worry. It won’t go away. Putin has a lot to lose.

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(LGC/CD)