Russia Says "Top Priority" Is To Avoid Nuclear Clash, Reiterates Purely Defensive Use

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Nov 02, 2022 - 08:40 PM

Russia on Wednesday warned that the world's "top priority" should be the nuclear-armed super powers avoiding confrontation at all costs or else this would lead to "catastrophic consequences."

"We are firmly convinced that in the current difficult and turbulent situation — a consequence of irresponsible and shameless actions aimed at undermining our national security — the top priority is to prevent any military clash of nuclear powers," a Foreign Ministry statement said

While not naming its chief nuclear-armed rivals the United States or the United Kingdom specifically, the Kremlin called on all other nuclear states to "abandon dangerous attempts to infringe on each other's vital interests."

The statement reiterated a key tenet of Russia's official nuclear doctrine, saying, "Russia is strictly and consistently guided by the tenet that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought." It reemphasized a nuclear doctrine that is "purely defensive in nature" - which only allows deployment of nuclear arms "when the very existence of our state is threatened." 

In statement early last month, President Joe Biden expressed that he doesn't think Russia's Vladimir Putin will use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. "Well, I don’t think he will," Biden previously said in a CNN interview. "But I think that it’s irresponsible for him to talk about it."

Also on Wednesday The New York Times has published some hugely significant claims... 

Senior Russian military leaders recently had conversations to discuss when and how Moscow might use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, contributing to heightened concern in Washington and allied capitals, according to multiple senior American officials.

President Vladimir V. Putin was not a part of the conversations, which were held against the backdrop of Russia’s intensifying nuclear rhetoric and battlefield setbacks.

But the fact that senior Russian military leaders were even having the discussions alarmed the Biden administration because it showed how frustrated Russian generals were about their failures on the ground, and suggests that Mr. Putin’s veiled threats to use nuclear weapons might not just be words.

According to follow-up reporting in CNN, the alleged Kremlin discussion among top officials of using tactical nukes against Ukraine is based on a US intelligence assessment.

But importantly, CNN cites that there remain dissenting opinions within the US intelligence community. CNN's reporting begins, "Russian military officials have discussed how and under what conditions Russia would use a tactical nuclear weapon on the battlefield in Ukraine, according to a US intelligence assessment described to CNN by multiple sources who have read it."

"The assessment, drafted by the National Intelligence Council, is not a high confidence product and is not raw intelligence but rather analysis, multiple people who have read it told CNN," the report continues, before emphasizing: "For that reason, some officials believe the conversations reflected in the document may have been taken out of context, and do not necessarily indicate that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon."

It is a significant and eye-brow raising moment when CNN spotlights the likelihood of intelligence 'cherry picking' in a story which relates to Russia, which indeed casts serious doubt on the original NYT Times reporting and claims by unnamed US intelligence officials.