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Retired US Army Officer: Scary How West Pushing World to Brink of Nuclear War

© Wikipedia / Public DomainATACMS Army Tactical Missile System
ATACMS Army Tactical Missile System - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.06.2024
During a meeting with foreign press, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West against thoughtless conflict escalation, stressing that Moscow could repel NATO attempts to threaten its sovereignty both asymmetrically and directly.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with foreign journalists on June 5 within the framework of the 27th annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
Addressing the Ukraine conflict the Russian president noted that Western weapon deliveries to the Kiev regime, coupled with the approval to hit targets deep inside Russia, is fraught with severe escalation risks.
"How do you respond to this use of weapons and allowing them to attack and basically violate the sovereignty of Russia itself?" Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel and international consultant told Sputnik. "If we look at these attacks, they're not targeting military targets, or they're targeting strategic targets. They're targeting civilians, many of them, or strategic targets as well. It's essentially, basically authorizing and supporting terrorism."
The Utyos stationary coastal missile system launches a P-35 cruise missile during the Black Sea Fleet's tactical drill in Crimea - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.05.2024
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Asymmetrical Response

Russia is aware of the fact that while Ukrainian military personnel can participate in the selection of targets for long-range NATO-grade missiles, decisions to strike are made by those who supply the weapons, the president emphasized.
Putin made it clear that Russia will respond and consider various options to do this. To illustrate his point, the president suggested delivering weapons to third countries confronting NATO member states involved in the Ukraine conflict.
"Why do we not have the right to supply our weapons of the same class to those regions of the world where attacks on sensitive facilities will be carried out… The answer may be asymmetric. We will think about it," Putin remarked.
For his part, Rasmussen said that, "He could be looking at something that's not the typical type of response, but much broader, perhaps looking at other areas of the world, perhaps looking at where weapons are originating from, or where advisers or intelligence information is gathered to provide for firing. Perhaps we're looking at Western efforts in the Middle East or in Asia."
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Nuclear Option

While Russia pursues a policy of no first use (NFU) of nukes, Putin did not rule out using all means available to Russia if the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity are threatened in accordance with its nuclear doctrine.
"Russia, and to another extent China as well, has been very patient," Rasmussen highlighted. "They have been measured in their responses to different situations. (…) We need to have a grasp, and President Putin has shown a much more understanding and grasp of where we are in this situation."
He went on to say that, unfortunately, Western leaders continue to move up the escalation ladder being completely detached from reality.

"[Western leaders] really would not accept failure. It's scary. They're moving the world to the precipice, to the cliff. And they would rather destroy the world, I think. It's astonishing that we've somehow come to the point with leaders that have very little vision," Rasmussen said.

"Sometimes I think that they have their nuclear-hardened bunkers for senior decision makers. I mean, there are facilities that the entire US Congress and their families will be safe with, if we get to a nuclear stage. But they don't care about the actual people. They don't care about their own people," Rasmussen said.
The expert lamented the fact that the Western establishment is trying to silence voices in the US and Europe which are warning against raising stakes in Ukraine and bringing the ongoing proxy war with Russia to a direct confrontation. Rasmussen particularly referred to the US authorities' decision to seize the passport of former Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter to prevent him from traveling to Russia.
Putin meets with top executives of international news agencies on the sidelines of SPIEF 2024 - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.06.2024
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West Doesn't Care About Ukrainians

Given all of the above, it's hardly surprising that Western elites are eager to fight for the last Ukrainian in its proxy war against Russia, the expert remarked. During the meeting with foreign journalists, Putin drew attention to the US behind-the-scenes efforts to force the Kiev regime to lower the draft age to 18 in order to replenish its huge losses on the battleground.
According to Putin, the Ukrainian Army loses about 50,000 soldiers a month, with sanitary losses accounting for only 50% of them. "I said 50,000, but this is the most modest estimate. These are 50,000, this is what we see on the battlefield," the president said, adding that Russia's losses are several times less with an approximate one-to-five ratio.
"The unacceptance of the Western leaders to recognize this clearly shows they do not care or have any ambitions or any desire to support Ukraine itself," the military expert said. "Their entire desire is to try to weaken Russia. And it has been a complete failure. Yet politically they don't want to accept that."
"It's almost as if Western leaders are living in a parallel universe and they couldn't care less. They do not care about the Ukrainian people whatsoever. They don't care about Ukraine as a country. They do not care. They're purely using it as a tool and it has not been working. The Ukraine project is a failure and the current leadership will not accept it," Rasmussen concluded.
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