October 5, 2022

The Biden administration has sent private messages to Moscow about the ‘serious consequences’ of using nuclear weapons – even as Russia has made repeated nuclear threats amid battlefield losses in Ukraine.

The State Department has communicated the US position to Moscow ‘consistently’ over a period of months, Washington Post reported.

It was not clear if new warnings had gone out since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to the nation announced a nationwide mobilization of 300,000 people to join its war in Ukraine, which the Kremlin still describes as a ‘special military operation ‘.

U.S. analysts have said that many of these forces, drawn from former Russian military and other sources, will end up being cannon fodder on the front lines.

US policy is generally to avoid brandishing the nuclear threat, something Putin and Russia have done repeatedly. Both nations have thousands of nuclear warheads.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to his nation on Wednesday about a military mobilization. He said Russia would use ‘all available weapons systems’ to protect its ‘territorial integrity’. US officials have warned Russia of the dire consequences of using nuclear weapons over a period of months

Putin said in his speech that Russia would use ‘all available weapons systems’ to protect its ‘territorial integrity’ and its people, as well as its ‘territorial integrity’ and ‘independence and freedom’.

What analysts are particularly worried about are the fake referendums Russia is pushing in four provinces in eastern Ukraine. Once these measures are passed, Russia is likely to declare the territory part of Russia – meaning it can claim that it is justified to use nuclear weapons if Ukraine attacks to reclaim its territory.

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Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian prime minister who serves as deputy chairman of its Security Council, wrote on Telegram on Thursday that this territory will be ‘accepted in Russia. He said Russia would use ‘any Russian weapon, including strategic nuclear weapons and those using new principles’, to defend the territory it annexes from Ukraine.

It was a likely reference to Russia’s latest hypersonic missiles, which travel many times the speed of sound.

President Joe Biden, speaking at the United Nations this week, condemned Russia for its invasion and “blatant” nuclear threats. “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” he said

The State Department has issued the warnings to Russia, although it was not immediately clear at what level

Putin’s mobilization comes after a series of gains by Ukrainian forces (pictured on the road in the liberated territory of the Kharkiv region)

Several videos appear to show young Russian men drinking heavily as they are sent off to war, suggesting that morale problems in the military are unlikely to improve once they arrive on the front lines

A man with a Z War symbol on his chest toasts his conscripts as they load onto a bus somewhere in Russia before heading off to fight in Ukraine

President Joe Biden, speaking at the United Nations this week, condemned Russia for its invasion and “blatant” nuclear threats. “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” he said

The nuclear threat comes as Western analysts have played down the impact of Putin’s massive military mobilization, which comes after Russia failed to capture Ukraine with its military forces of around 150,000.

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Some indications are that many of these conscripts do not want to fight, will lack training in cohesion – deficits that have also been exhibited by Russia’s existing force.

Russian conscripts have been filmed drinking and fighting among themselves on their way to the front line, in scenes that could soon be repeated on the battlefields of Ukraine.

Dozens of videos began to emerge showing men chugging from cups of drinks before boarding buses headed west, or stumbling and fighting at recruiting offices and aboard planes.

The footage is difficult to verify definitively, but it is consistent with reports of low morale and drunkenness among Russian recruits and speaks to broader problems facing Putin’s military — poor command, discipline and organization — that have plagued its war effort so far. It seems these problems are unlikely to improve as the war continues.

Meanwhile, reports from Russia itself suggested men were rushing to marry single mothers or register as elderly carers in a desperate attempt to evade the draft by having dependents. But their hopes are likely to prove in vain, as the only exceptions to Putin’s sweeping laws are age, illness or imprisonment.

It comes after border crossings jammed with cars and plane tickets to visa-free nations sold out within hours. Some Russians reported buying tickets to destinations they didn’t know existed to get away. Others used scooters to skip traffic jams and cross into Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Georgia