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ISW: Russia keeps stoking nuclear fears to deter Western aid to Ukraine

Russian government officials intensify nuclear rhetoric, claiming nuclear superiority and highlighting strategic weapons like hypersonic missiles. Russia’s nuclear threats aim at obstructing Western military aid to Ukraine.
Russian missile launch. File photo: Russia’s Defense Ministry
ISW: Russia keeps stoking nuclear fears to deter Western aid to Ukraine

Russian government officials continue to use escalatory nuclear rhetoric to scare the international community and impede Western military aid provisions to Ukraine, the US-based Institute for the Study of War says in its latest daily Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment report.

On 4 November, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev claimed that Russia has more nuclear missiles than its “competitors” for the first time in history. Patrushev’s assertions extended to the point of stating that Russia’s security will be guaranteed for “decades” due to its “unique strategic weapons,” such as hypersonic missiles.

Concurrently, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko stated on the same day that Russia would take “all necessary military-technical precautions” in response to the US transfer of F-35 nuclear-weapons capable fighter jets to the United Kingdom and NATO’s activities generally.

“ISW has consistently assessed that the Kremlin often references Russian nuclear capabilities in an attempt to dissuade the West from providing Ukraine with materiel,” ISW wrote.

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