Russia Heightens Nuclear Threat


Russia has hardened its line on the use of its nuclear arsenal making it easier to press the nuclear button, while unequivocally declaring the West a hostile power that must be resisted.

This new national security strategy, outlined in a 21-page military document, was decreed by acting president Vladimir Putin on January 14. It was the first foreign policy move that Putin has taken since replacing Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin on December 31, 1999.

The strategic shift lowers the threshold at which Russia may resort to nuclear weapons. The former strategy, decreed by Yeltsin in 1997, declared that nuclear weapons could only be used “in the case of a threat to the very existence of the Russian Federation as a sovereign state”.

The new document states that the use of nuclear weapons is necessary “to repel armed aggression if all other means of resolving a crisis situation have been exhausted or turn out to be ineffective.”

Alexander Pikayev, at the Moscow office of the Carnegie Institute told Agence France Presse “It’s a marked change”.

“The [1997] doctrine in force until now,” continued Pikayev, “said that Russia could strike first, but only if another nuclear state attacked it or if its existence was threatened.”

The new document, by contrast, envisions using Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal to “repel armed aggressions”. In other words, the Kremlin has officially approved the use of nuclear weapons against conventional forces.

Various press reports have noted the hostile tone of the new military document against the West. “Whereas the 1997 strategy spoke of ‘partnership’ with the West reported the London Guardian, “and decreed that there was no threat of military aggression to Russia, the new paper says that two ‘mutually exclusive tendencies’ are now locked in combat on the globe.”

The Guardian further reported that Russian commentary on the leaked 21-page document said it made it clear that “the term ‘partnership’ has been consigned to the past.”

London’s Daily Telegraph summed up the new threat stating that Putin’s nuclear policy raises a “Cold War ghost”.

This is yet another demonstration that Russia has not converted and that there still remains the urgent need for the Pope and the bishops to consecrate Russia specifically and by name to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.

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