International Desk: Russian Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov has been “removed” and assigned to “another position,” Moscow said. The country’s Ministry of Defense has released this news.
He was succeeded by Colonel General Mikhail Mizhintsev. Earlier, he was the head of the National Defense Control Center of Russia.
Mizhintsev, the new deputy defense minister, led the siege of the strange port of Mariupol. The campaign was nicknamed ‘The Butcher of Mariupol.’ This was reported by the military of Ukraine.
Russian forces occupied Mariupol last May. It is alleged that thousands of civilians were killed during this time.
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Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine if Russia’s ‘territorial integrity’ is threatened. This has given rise to intense debate over how the West should respond.
‘Those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind can also turn in their direction.’ Referring to this, Putin said, “This is not a hoax.”
But analysts are not convinced that a Russian president would be the first to use nuclear weapons since the United States bombed Japan in 1945.
AFP spoke to a number of experts and officials about the possible scenarios if Russia launched a nuclear attack.
Analysts say Moscow will likely use one or more ‘strategic’ or battlefield nukes.
These are small weapons, compared to the 1.2 megatons of the largest US strategic warhead or the 58 megaton bomb that Russia tested in 1961.
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Tactical bombs are designed to have a limited effect on the battlefield. Strategically more powerful nuclear weapons are designed to win all-out wars.
But ‘small’ and ‘limited’ are relative: But the atomic bomb that the US dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 had a devastating effect of only 15 kilotons.
Analysts say Russia’s aim in using strategic nukes in Ukraine would be to induce surrender or negotiate and divide the country’s Western backers.
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Mark Kancian, a military expert at the CSIS International Security Program in Washington, said Russia would probably not use nuclear weapons on the front lines.
A 20-mile (32 km) area might require 20 small atomic bombs, a small gain in the face of a huge nuclear risk.
“It would not be enough to use just one,” Cansyan said. “Moscow could instead send a stronger message and avoid significant casualties by detonating a nuclear bomb over water, or by detonating electronic equipment high in the Ukrainian sky to generate an electromagnetic pulse.” Can paralyze.
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Or Putin could choose greater destruction and death: attacking military bases in Ukraine, or hitting the heart of a city like Kiev, causing massive casualties and possibly killing the country’s political leadership.
Such a scenario ‘would likely be designed to split the NATO alliance and global consensus against Putin,’ John Wolfstahl, a former White House nuclear policy expert, wrote on Substack on Friday (23 September). But ‘whether this will succeed is unclear, and the resolve could easily be seen as disappointing.’
How the West would respond to a strategic nuclear strike remains unclear and the choices are complex.
The US and NATO do not want to show weakness in the face of an inherent nuclear threat. But even if Ukraine is not a NATO member, they will not want to avoid war in Ukraine. This would make the war more widespread and could lead to a devastating global nuclear war.
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Experts say the West will have no choice but to respond and that the response should come from NATO as a group rather than the US alone.
Any response, Wolfstal said, ‘must be ascertained both whether Putin’s military situation is improved by such a strike and whether his political, economic and personal standing is damaged as a result.’
The United States has about a hundred of its own strategic nuclear weapons stationed in NATO countries and could retaliate against Russian forces.
According to Matthew Kroenig of the Atlantic Council, this would show resolve and remind Moscow of the dangers of its actions.
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“It could also provoke a Russian nuclear retaliation, increasing the risk of greater nuclear exchanges and more humanitarian catastrophe,” he added.
Another risk is that some NATO members may reject a nuclear response, furthering Putin’s goal of weakening the alliance.