Will Russia go nuclear in Ukraine?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Vladimir Putin.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

Ukraine's counteroffensive gained momentum this week, with the country's forces overrunning Russian forces and retaking more than 20 villages in the northeastern Kharkiv region over a single day. The sudden, unexpectedly overwhelming surge forced the outnumbered Russian troops to retreat in disarray, leaving equipment behind as Ukrainian forces pushed through to the Russian border. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised his troops, saying, "the enemy is panicking," and promised that Ukrainian forces would take back every inch of territory Russia has seized since invading in February.

The battlefield setbacks raised pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The rout of his forces in the northeastern Kharkiv region highlighted miscalculations by Putin and his military leaders. Prominent Russians have started publicly criticizing Putin's strategy. "Mistakes were made," Ramzan Kadyrov, the Moscow-backed leader of the Russian region of Chechnya, said in a Telegram post, calling for a change in strategy. Ukraine's military chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, there is a "direct threat" that Russia could resort to using tactical nuclear weapons, which could drag other powers into a "limited" nuclear conflict that could expand into "World War III." Would Russia go nuclear in response to setbacks on the battlefield?

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us