Putin could shatter NATO will over Ukraine conflict with single blow – Ex-NATO commander

Vladimir Putin could 'shatter' NATO will over Ukraine conflict

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General Wesley Clark has warned that Putin really wanted to deter NATO involvement in Ukraine then the Russian leader could turn to a devastating tactical nuclear strike. He warned that such a strike has been a part of Russian military thinking for a number of years. 

General Clark told CNN: “The use of chemical weapons seems to be a little bit premature, except perhaps, in going after Mariopul but it’s not that significant.

“So I think the chemical weapons threat is a more farfetched plan.

“If he really wants to deter NATO involvement, and he believes that he can shatter NATO, then he would perhaps use a low yield nuclear weapon.

“Where would he use it? Probably not in Ukraine but perhaps on the staging areas are some populated areas in Poland.

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The former NATO Allied Commander continued: “This is what’s usually done in the Russian exercises.

“So the way they postulate in their exercises is that if Russia starts to lose because of NATO support for the opposition, then pow! They send a nuclear weapon in, NATO says, ‘Oh, my goodness,’ we don’t want a nuclear war.

“That would be the third world war. Okay. Since you’re that serious about it, we’ll back off.’

So this is the way the Russians have educated themselves to think about what they would do in a circumstance like this. This is why there’s so much concern on the part of the administration and other NATO leaders.”

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It comes as NATO leaders meeting in Brussels agreed to help Ukraine protect itself against any chemical, biological or nuclear attacks, and a US official said Washington and allies were also working to provide Kyiv with anti-ship missiles.

However, NATO has turned down repeated pleas by Kyiv to defend Ukraine’s skies by imposing a no-fly zone.

The military bloc said it will not send troops to Ukraine for fear of being dragged into a full-on military confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.

“We remain united and resolute in our determination to oppose Russia’s aggression, aid the government and the people of Ukraine, and defend the security of all allies,” NATO leaders said in a joint statement.

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Boris Johnson has said that, even if NATO does not grant Ukraine full membership, allies would provide the country with so much support that Russia would not consider invading again.

In an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight programme, to be aired on Thursday night, the Prime Minister said: “Over time, you can imagine that even if you can’t have an Article 5 guarantee for Ukraine – I mean, full membership of NATO, inside the thermonuclear umbrella as it were – you can imagine that Western sympathisers of Ukraine will provide so much by way of equipment, training, intelligence as to create a kind of deterrence for Ukraine by denial – deterrence by denial of Russian possibility to invade again.

“What I’m talking about is so fortifying, so strengthening, the quills of the Ukrainian porcupine as to make it in future indigestible to the Russian invaders.”

Russian forces attacked Ukraine on February 24 in what Putin calls a “special military operation” aimed at destroying Ukraine’s military capabilities and “denazifying” it.

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