Putin's nuclear Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin over a map of Crimea (Collage by Tetiana Kolesnichenko, RFE/RL) 

Opinion, Russian Aggression

Article by: Garry Kasparov
Translated by: Andrii Nechuy

Editor’s Note

If Putin’s nuclear blackmail, which has so far prevented the West from taking an active military part in Russia’s war against Ukraine, succeeds this time, he will use it every time, Garry Kasparov writes. Moreover, the argument that “we cannot allow a third world war to start” sounds absolutely meaningless when the war is already underway.

Putin’s nuclear blackmail against Ukraine has been working so far

I cannot say with certainty that Putin will not use nuclear weapons. But we must answer the question: could our concessions to Putin reduce the risk of it? Any concession to the dictator only emboldens him. Today, Putin is using nuclear blackmail as his last ace in this card game. And if his blackmail works this time–and it has been working so far–then it means that he will start using this card to win every time. Only next time it will be used on the territory of Poland or Estonia.

And then the West will face a dilemma: either dissolve itself and end the historical path of Western civilization to yield to demands of the thug who has nuclear weapons, or enter into a military confrontation that will be under much worse conditions than now.

Related: Russian propaganda TV threatens to invade West, carry out nuclear strike

The argument that ‘we cannot allow a third world war to start‘ sounds absolutely meaningless when the war is already underway. But we continue to hear it from all sides. However, we must not forget that these pronouncements are coming from the people who over the years have been giving wrong advice about how to build relations with Putin. Had these people worked in business, they would have been fired long ago.

They compromised themselves with absolutely incorrect assessments of the geopolitical situation, but even now they continue to give advice on how to deal with the current crisis.

I recently tweeted about RAND Corporation. This is one of the leading research centers in the US that deals with military issues and advises the US government. In January of this year, they released a large and detailed article that explained why Ukraine should not be supplied with weapons. The article said that the Ukrainian army would fall apart in a few days, it had no chance to resist Putin, and giving it weapons was putting money down the drain.

I ask this question: are these people still advisers to the American administration? Do they still provide their expertise to the White House? Did they apologize for their mistake even in some way?

NATO’s foot-dragging amid Russian atrocities in Ukraine is indefensible

We have come to a point where everything must change. The whole world. The systems of relationships will change, but in order to save this world, we need to understand that in a war with Putin–unlike in a game of chess–there can be no draw.

Either he wins or we win. The victory of Ukraine will mean the collapse of the Putin regime.

And this is the fundamental idea that must be brought to the consciousness of Western society in the hope that it will be able to influence its cowardly and corrupt politicians.

Garry Kasparov: If Putin’s nuclear blackmail works against Ukraine, he will use it next in Poland or Estonia ~~

Garry Kasparov is the chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, a prominent Russian pro-democracy opposition leader, chess grandmaster, and former world chess champion.


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Translated by: Andrii Nechuy

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