American Intel Boss: Putin Now Depends on Russian Nuclear Weapons
US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines addresses the threat of Russian nuclear weapons before members of Parliament. According to him, Russian President Vladimir Putin is now dependent on nuclear weapons. Photo/REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
WASHINGTON – The United States (US) intelligence community is warning all sides that Russian President Vladimir Putin is now relying on nuclear weapons following a significant defeat on the Ukrainian battlefield.
The warning appears in the 35-page Annual Threat Assessment report released by the US intelligence community on Wednesday.
The warning comes as Russia intensifies its now yearlong battle over Ukraine and as Putin threatens to withdraw from a major US-Russia nuclear arms treaty; New START Agreement.
“Throughout its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow continued to demonstrate that it views its nuclear capabilities as necessary to maintain deterrence and achieve its objectives in a potential conflict against the US and NATO and views its nuclear arsenal as the primary guarantor of the Russian Federation,” the report said. /3/2023).
The report added that Putin will become even more reliant on Russia’s nuclear weapons following significant battlefield losses and a barrage of sanctions that have crippled the Kremlin’s ability to finance its war machine.
“The heavy losses to its ground forces and the massive expenditure of precision-guided munitions during the conflict have degraded Moscow’s conventional ground-based and air-based capabilities and increased its dependence on nuclear weapons,” wrote the American intelligence community.
Putin, whose country has the world’s largest nuclear weapons arsenal, has previously rattled the “nuclear sword” behind Ukraine’s advances on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, the West has portrayed Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons as irresponsible rhetoric and as his attempt to reassert Russia’s dominance in the region.
Last month, Putin announced he would suspend Russia’s participation in the New START treaty, the landmark nuclear arms reduction agreement between the US and Russia.