Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threat is “real and not just words”, a Russian opposition politician warns.
Grigory Yavlinsky is a longtime critic of the Putin regime and went on to warn that Russia could use its nuclear capabilities against Ukraine if they were to try and recapture Crimea.
Yavlinsky, found of the liberal Yabloko party, was born in Lviv and has gone up against Putin in three presidential elections.
In an interview with Newsweek, Yavlinsky said: “I think that [Putin’s] nuclear threat is a real threat.
“That kind of weapon is such a serious thing…this is not [just] words, this is a real factor, which you have to take into consideration in the current situation. That’s it.”
Putin has several times claimed Russia’s readiness to use nuclear weapons in a conflict with the west.
The war-mongering Russian president made the claim as he defended his recent decision to pull out of a nuclear arms treaty in an interview with state television last month.
Speaking just days after he suspended the nation’s participation in the 2010 New START agreement with the United States, Putin said he had to “take into account” the weapons possessed by the United States along with its NATO allies, which includes France and Britain.
He told TV channel Rossiya 1: “In today’s conditions when all the leading NATO countries have declared their main goal to inflict a strategic defeat on us, to make our people suffer… how can we not consider their nuclear capabilities?
“Moreover, they supply weapons to Ukraine worth tens of billions of dollars.”
He added that the West’s “one goal” was to “disband the former Soviet Union” and its “fundamental part” of the Russian Federation, before going to claim that they could destroy the Russian people entirely.
Suggesting that Russia would be broken up by foreign powers, he said the West could turn regions such as Moscow and the Urals into their own smaller states if it successfully defeated his nation.