War in Ukraine: why the risk of conflagration has never been so high – Ukraine-Russia War

The risk of “apocalypse” hangs over the world, said Thursday, the American president. “Vladimir Putin is not joking. When he talks about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons, we can believe him (…). How can he get away with it? How can he position himself so that he neither loses face nor loses a significant portion of his power in Russia? »

Our live on the war in Ukraine

Shocking words, unusual since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, which are somewhat tempered by the setting chosen to pronounce them. It was in New York, during a trip to honor a fundraiser. If the danger was imminent, underline connoisseurs of nuclear grammar, Joe Biden would have spoken of the White House, surrounded by his generals, or of the “Norad”, buried in the mountains of Colorado, this staff inherited from the Cold War , on the lookout for any strategic missile launch. Still, we do not use such words with impunity.

No one wants peace in the Donbass anymore

“Scaring, panicking and, ultimately, putting the opponent up against the wall”. This is the purpose of this new eruption of nuclear rhetoric in the Ukrainian conflict. The American and the Russian, who unearthed it from the boxes of the Cold War on the eve of its outbreak, use it to the rhythm of its evolution. On September 21, following the preparatory referendums for the annexation of Donbass to Russia, the master of the Kremlin warned: “If our territorial integrity is threatened, we will of course use all the means at our disposal to defend Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff”.

The White House first evacuates the threat, before rallying European analysts who believe that the risk has never been so high of a rise to extremes, towards a third world conflict. In fact, on the eve of winter, no one wants peace in the Donbass. The successful Ukrainian counter-offensive in September, and the positive consequences of recent days, are prompting the West to increase their aid and forcing Russia to raise its voice.

An incitement “to start a new world war”

Moscow, whose nuclear doctrine is fundamentally defensive, urges Washington not to cross a red line in Ukraine. For the latter, it is impossible not to respond on the same ground. It is, moreover, spurred on by its hawks, who openly dream of using tactical nuclear power against Russian troops in Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky’s reaction to Joe Biden’s comments illustrates this. Faithful to his hardline strategy, the leader immediately called on NATO to carry out “preventive strikes on Russia in order to make it impossible for President Putin to use nuclear weapons”. An incitement “to start a new world war”, denounces the Kremlin.

Politically, the hypothesis that Russia targets Ukraine seems unlikely. “It’s the kyiv regime that we want to punish, not the population,” its leaders have been repeating since the beginning of the conflict. Before resorting to a nuclear strike, Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, is spoiled for choice to send a “final warning”, as the French strategists say, the only ones to consider that nuclear is the weapon of the “non-employment”: simulating a large-scale nuclear air raid against Paris or London; fire a hypersonic missile (reputedly invincible) without warhead against a NATO target; strike for good… In this explosive context, everyone scrutinizes the other, but an incident can quickly ignite the powder, the soldiers know.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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