The Kremlin has called for a cool-headed approach to the potential use of nuclear weapons that’s based on Russia’s established military doctrine rather than “emotions” after Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s region of Chechnya, said on Saturday that Moscow should use a tactical nuke in Ukraine after Russian forces suffered a battlefield defeat.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that the basis for using nuclear weapons has been laid down in Russia’s official military doctrine and that decisions around using a nuclear bomb would not be made on impulse.
Russia’s nuclear use guidelines allow for the use of such weapons if they—or other weapons of mass destruction—are used against Russia, or if the Russian state faces an existential threat from conventional weapons.
“There can be no other considerations when it comes to this,” Peskov said on a call with reporters.
The Kremlin has said explicitly that the four regions of Ukraine that Moscow is in the process of formally annexing also fall under its nuclear umbrella.
Calls for ‘Low-Yield’ Nuclear Strike
Recent battlefield setbacks in eastern Ukraine—including losing the key bastion of Lyman—prompted Chechnya’s leader to call for Russia to get tougher.
Kadyrov posted a message on Telegram on Oct. 1 criticizing the Russian military approach as being too soft.
“In my personal opinion, more drastic measures should be taken, right up to the declaration of martial law in the border areas and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons,” Kadyrov said.
On Monday, Peskov was asked about Kadyrov’s remarks, with the Kremlin spokesperson saying the Chechen leader has the right to express his opinion but that the use of nukes was not a decision to be taken impulsively.
“This is a very emotional moment. The heads of regions have the right to express their point of view,” Peskov said.
“But even in difficult moments, emotions should be kept out of any kind of assessment. So we prefer to stick to balanced, objective assessments,” he added.
‘All Our Means’
The Chechen leader’s remarks came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions—including one where the last stronghold of Lyman is located—and put them under Russia’s nuclear umbrella.
Putin said Russia would defend the lands it had seized “with all our strength and all our means,” rhetoric that analysts say is meant to imply the threat of nukes.
Russia has the world’s largest atomic arsenal, including low-yield tactical nuclear weapons that could be used in battlefield exchanges rather than against key strategic targets.
The Russian president has said Russia is locked in an existential battle with the West, which he has accused of trying to destroy his country. He has insisted Russia will prevail in Ukraine, warning that he’s only just begun to get serious.
Putin warned the West he was “not bluffing” when he said Moscow was prepared to use nuclear weapons to protect its territory.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times