Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been fuelling fears of the possible launch of its first nuclear missile test by the autumn. Amid nuclear threats and fears of war escalation, world leaders are requestioning their decision to send weapons to Ukraine. Former US President Donald Trump took direct aim at sitting US president Joe Biden for failing to act decisively against Putin’s excessive use of the “nuclear word”. Mr Trump lashed out on Talk TV: “Instead of kowtowing, instead of Biden saying, ‘oh, he’s got nuclear weapons…’ We’ve got better weapons; we have the greatest submarine power in history.”
“Putin uses the ‘n’ word. I call it the n-word. He uses the n-word – the nuclear word all the time.
“That’s a no-no. You’re not supposed to do that. He uses it on a daily basis. And everybody is so afraid, so afraid. And as they’re afraid, he uses it more and more.
“That’s why he’s doing the kind of things he’s doing.”
Mr Trump’s criticism comes as the Biden administration is ramping up weapons deliveries to Ukraine amid Russian troops’ offensives in southern and eastern Ukraine.
When pressed on what he would say or do as president, former President Trump answered: “I would say we have far more than you do, we are far more powerful than you and you can’t use that word ever again.
“You cannot use the nuclear word ever again. And if you do, we’re going to have problems.”
While the US administration was at first more cautious in its approach to Russia, Joe Biden has recently doubled down on his accusations of genocide being committed in Ukraine.
But the nuclear option remains off the table. As a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the United States has reduced its share of nuclear warhead stockpiles, with close to 5,500 in 2022 according to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
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The US, the EU, and NATO have walked a fine line since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On one hand, they have not directly attacked Russia to avoid a full-blown third world war.
On the other hand, they have been providing Ukraine with weapons and heavy artillery to protect itself against Russian forces.
Experts say Putin’s nuclear threats are meant at intimidating the West and deter them from providing more substantial support to Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz refused to send more tanks to Ukraine over the danger of nuclear war.