West thinks Russia unlikely to go nuclear yet prepares scenarios – FT

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Western capitals are preparing contingency plans in case Russian President Vladimir Putin starts to implement his nuclear threats against Ukraine and sending private warnings to the Kremlin about possible consequences, Financial Times reports, citing five knowledgeable anonymous interlocutors.

According to FT, “Kyiv’s allies are increasing nuclear vigilance and deterrence” while believing Putin’s threats are unlikely to materialise.

Two officials said that a Russian nuclear strike would not be enough to elicit a response in kind. Instead, Kyiv’s allies would make a conventional military strike.

Three officials said that NATO states have messaged Moscow in private about the retaliation that Russian nuclear use would trigger, mentioning that Russia would receive “pariah-state status.”

FT also says analysts have not noticed any movements signaling that Russia is making physical moves towards higher nuclear readiness after Putin made threats. They also noted that a Russian nuclear attack may not change the outcome on the battlefield due to Russia’s poor coordination of its conventional military, or that it could go awry – the missile could be shot down by Ukrainian forces.

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