Source: Carmine Sabia

The Kremlin is again saber rattling on the possibility of using nuclear weapons on a first strike basis.

“Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president who is deputy chairman of the country’s security council, said Moscow could strike against an enemy that only used conventional weapons while Vladimir Putin’s defense minister claimed nuclear ‘readiness’ was a priority,” The Guardian reported.

“We have a special document on nuclear deterrence. This document clearly indicates the grounds on which the Russian Federation is entitled to use nuclear weapons. There are a few of them, let me remind them to you: number one is the situation, when Russia is struck by a nuclear missile. The second case is any use of other nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies,” Medvedev said.

“The third is an attack on a critical infrastructure that will have paralyzed our nuclear deterrent forces. And the fourth case is when an act of aggression is committed against Russia and its allies, which jeopardized the existence of the country itself, even without the use of nuclear weapons, that is, with the use of conventional weapons,” he said.

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The chairman of Russia’s security council said that there was a “determination to defend the independence, sovereignty of our country, not to give anyone a reason to doubt even the slightest that we are ready to give a worthy response to any infringement on our country, on its independence”.

In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an appearance by video link at Qatar’s Doha Forum on Saturday, said that Russia was a threat to the entire world.

“Russia is deliberating bragging they can destroy with nuclear weapons, not only a certain country but the entire planet,” he said.

Putin established the nuclear threat at the start of the war, warning that western intervention would reap “consequences you have never seen”.

Western officials have said the threats may be simply an attempt to divert attention from the failure of Putin’s forces to secure a swift occupation of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and to make advances in other key areas of the country.

An adviser to Ukraine’s defence ministry, Markian Lubkivskyi, claimed on Saturday that Russia would soon lose control of the southern city of Kherson, the first major centre to fall to the Kremlin since the war began on 24 February.

“I believe that today the city will be fully under the control of Ukrainian armed forces. We have finished in the last two days the operation in the Kyiv region so other armed forces are now focused on the southern part trying to get free Kherson and some other Ukrainian cities,” he said.

The comments come on the same day that President Joe Biden said that Russian President Vladmir Putin cannot be allowed to stay in power in Russia.

President Joe Biden sent shockwaves during a speech in Poland speaking about the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The president ended his speech on Saturday in what many believed to be a reference to regime change in Russia and getting rid of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the White House later walked back his comments.

On Putin the president said, “For God’s sake this man cannot remain in power.”

“This is not to be decided by Mr. Biden. It should only be a choice of the people of the Russian Federation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response.

The White House later explained that, “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”

It was the end of a long speech in which he portrayed Ukraine as the front line in the fight between autocracy and democracy.

” My message to the people of Ukraine is … we stand with you. Period,” he said in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland.

“We emerged anew in the great battle for freedom, a battle between democracy and autocracy. Between liberty and oppression. Between a rules-based order and one governed by brute force,” he said. “In this battle, we need to be clear-eyed. This battle will not be won in days or months either. We need to steel ourselves for the long fight ahead.”