Once Vladimir Putin started his ‘military operation’ in Ukraine he warned the West not to intervene and put the country on nuclear alert as a stark, calculated, cold warning and today the thought continues to crop on in the Moscow military establishment.
Now one month later and starting the next 30 days, Putin is warning he may drop a ‘limited’ nuclear bomb to get things moving in the right direction or in the way he wants to move forward. Such talk is perking the ears of NATO leaders and so the ‘humming’ war escalation begins again.
But this time the threat is becoming more risky – another deadly conflict and on a global scale, almost like World War III. Why? Because Russia is not doing at all well in the war despite its deadly missile hits and bombing of military infrastructure, cities, towns ports and civilian targets.
Despite its ‘positive’ expectancy that Ukraine would quickly submit as it launched the war on 24 February, its losing far too much in military hardware, like tanks, planes, artillery and manpower like soldiers and high ranking officers including its six generals killed. Things are certainly according to planes.
Everyone, and including internationally like the Americans, are obsessed by figures. More than 16,000 Russian soldiers were killed in the war so far, it is claimed. The Ukraine government are constantly updating the numbers with the Americans are more elastic saying the number killed starts at 7000 deaths.
They then add the overall figures of dead and injured and say it is somewhere in the region of 30,000 and 40,000. Unless pressed, Moscow doesn’t provide updated figures of those killed but keeps the numbers at absolute minimum. The 498 figure, given on 2 March, was branded about although recently the Russian Ministry of Defense recently acknowledged that over 9861 soldiers were killed then quickly removed the figure from the Internet.
However, and now it now admits around 1350 soldiers have been killed after one months. They haven’t lost that much in a decade in Afghanistan which if believed is mindboggling.
There are two problems here however. In contrast to the number of Russian deaths, the comparison for the Ukraine side is even more sketchy. Nobody really knows how many Ukrainians soldiers have died so far. The government puts the figure at around 1200 soldiers. The United Nations say around 800 civilians were killed so far but this figure is far too low judging from the missiles strikes on different installations and scorched high rise buildings and other complexes.
The Americans also suggest 1200 Russian missiles were fired on Ukrainian targets so far but the number keeps going up on a daily basis.
Regardless, and this leads to the second point and that is the Russians are in deep trouble. They can’t stop the war now because they would lose face in the international community so Putin must continue despite the pleadings by Volodymyr Zelensky that he wants a face-to-face meeting with the Russian leader who is brushing this move aside.
If the Ukraine army is doing so much damage Zelensky wouldn’t be demanding to see Putin or press world leaders to push Russia to the negotiating table despite the ‘tough’ resistance they are putting up. Despite the opposition he is facing at him by way of protests and those against the war, as well as the fact his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu coming in and out of the picture, it no denying Russia is being pushed into a corner as well. This becomes dangerous because it could contemplate the use of nuclear weapons or one deadly radioactive bomb the consequence of which is to dangerous to comprehend.
So this is the point we at. There is politics, and diplomacy but there is also dangerous escalation. If there is rumblings about a nuclear bomb then this is no mere talk for it will be used at some stage for Russia to be credible and this would trigger a deadly NATO response in spite of the fact they are making it clear that they won’t enter the war. The small nuke as tactical weapon would mean that NATO can’t stay aside and watch.