222 Items

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Analysis & Opinions

In Russia’s Nuclear Messaging to West and Ukraine, Putin Plays Both Bad and Good Cop

| Dec. 23, 2022

Should a nuclear war “never be unleashed?” Can nuclear weapons be used to “ensure the safety of the Russian people?” Both, according to President Vladimir Putin, who has become fond of alternating assertive and conciliatory tones in his messaging on the conditions for the use of nuclear arms. Such discourse comes as he tries to coerce Ukraine into accepting his land grabs and prevent the West from escalating assistance to Kyiv, all while keeping China content.

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Davis Center for Russian Studies, and Indiana University

Putin’s Increasingly Loose Talk on Use of Nukes

  • Angelina Flood
| Nov. 10, 2022

When it comes to nuclear weapons, Russia’s recent doctrinal documents and official statements are quite consistent in describing the conditions under which the country could resort to using these weapons. The problem is, as I have noted when researching Vladimir Putin’s nuclear rhetoric, that he has been increasingly willing to expand these conditions in the context of his war in Ukraine. The Russian leader’s loose talk on nukes even has Russia’s long-term strategic partners such as India and China worried. But will their admonishments suffice to restrain Putin’s nuclear saber rattling? I would not bet on it.

Analysis & Opinions

War With Ukraine as Other Means to Speed Up Reversal of Russia’s ‘Civilizational Choice’

  • Natasha Yefimova-Trilling
  • Angelina Flood
| Aug. 12, 2022

One overlooked aim of the war in Ukraine is Putin's attempt to speed up a clean break from a “declining” West, so that Russia can blossom as a separate civilization in alignment with the “great civilization” of a “rising” China.