- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

US Threatens Russia With ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ If It Nukes Ukraine, Distorts Putin’s Warning

© Sputnik / Yevgeniy Odinokov / Go to the mediabankTigr-M armoured vehicle followed by Yars ICBM launchers as Strategic Rocket Troops vehicles enter Red Square
Tigr-M armoured vehicle followed by Yars ICBM launchers as Strategic Rocket Troops vehicles enter Red Square - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.09.2022
Unlike the US nuclear doctrine, which allows for the use of strategic weapons even against conventional adversaries, Russia’s allows for nukes to be launched only in the event of an enemy nuclear attack, or an act of conventional aggression so severe that it threatens the very survival of the state.
US officials have informed their Russian counterparts that Washington will “respond decisively” if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security advisor, has indicated.
“We have communicated directly, privately, at very high levels, to the Kremlin that any use of nuclear weapons will be met with catastrophic consequences for Russia, that the United States and our allies will respond decisively. And we have been clear and specific about what that will entail,” Sullivan said, speaking to CBS Face the Nation Sunday morning.
The official did not elaborate in the interview on what this “decisive response” may be.

“We have protected those communications which we have done privately to the Russians, but they well understand what they would face if they went down that dark road,” Sullivan said in a separate interview with ABC’s This Week. “The Russians understand where we are, we understand where we are. We are planning for every contingency,” he added.

In the latter interview, Sullivan boasted that previous alleged Russian “nuclear threats” had “not deterred us from providing more than $15 billion in weapons to Ukraine.”
US officials and media accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of making “nuclear threats” against Ukraine in last week's speech to the nation, where he announced partial mobilization and status referendums in the Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye.
"Again, just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe and a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime," Joe Biden said during his United Nations General Assembly address on Wednesday.
US President Joe Biden addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 21, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.09.2022
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What Putin actually said was that Kiev and its Western sponsors had “resorted to nuclear blackmail,” and that Moscow would not hesitate to respond if its security interests were threatened.

“I am referring not only to the Western-encouraged shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which poses a threat of a nuclear disaster, but also to the statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia. I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff,” Putin said.

Sullivan referenced the security situation at the Zaporozhye NPP in his interview with CBS, claiming that Russian troops at the facility are holding Ukrainian operators “essentially at gunpoint” and saying that “the Russians have been consistently implying that there may be some kind of accident at this plant.”
Russian officials and Zaporozhye authorities have indeed been warning for weeks that Ukrainian shelling of the ZNPP threatens to spark a regional nuclear disaster, and have slammed the International Atomic Energy Agency for failing to assign blame for the attacks against the plant despite mentioning the word “shelling” attacks 52 times in a report earlier this month.
Officials in Energodar, the city where the ZNPP is situated, have dismissed Western claims about Russian "threats" against plant workers, emphasizing that most employees have remained at their posts since Russian forces took control of the facility in March, and that Ukrainian shelling is the real danger to the integrity of the plant and its engineers' safety.
Fragment of the stele at the entrance to the territory of the Zaporozhye NPP in Energodar. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.09.2022
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The Russian nuclear doctrine forbids the use of nukes unless such weapons are used against Russia, or in the event of a conventional attack so deadly that it threatens the existence of the state.
The United States formally "reserves the right to use" strategic weapons on a preemptive basis, even against non-nuclear adversaries, and is the only country to have ever deployed the weapons against another nation (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945). Additionally, the US doctrine allows for the country's "nuclear umbrella" to be extended to allies and partners - meaning the US can respond with nuclear strikes to aggression against its allies in Europe and Asia.
The Obama administration considered a 'no first use' revision to the US doctrine in 2016, but reneged on the idea. The Trump administration updated the US's nuclear posture in 2018, keeping the right to use nukes preemptively in place and requesting funding for a new class of small-yield nuclear weapons. The Biden administration has been working on a new nuclear posture review, but details on any possible changes to use posture have yet to be given.
Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain released a joint statement in January announcing readiness to continue detargeting their nuclear forces, and reiterating the position that "a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought."
The U.S. Navy's Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) and Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarine HMAS Rankin (SSG 78) operate together in waters off Rottnest Island, Western Australia.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.09.2022
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