Putin, the Emperor-President, Decides Deploying Nuclear Weapons Within NATO Encirclement | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Putin, the Emperor-President, Decides Deploying Nuclear Weapons Within NATO Encirclement

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A nuclear-capable missile launch test in northwest Russia in October 2022. Mr. Putin has frequently suggested the use of nuclear weapons

Stalin, the dictatorial leader of the former Soviet Union, surpassed the 29-year mark. Putin, Russia’s president who secured his fifth consecutive term in the March 17th election, extending his rule to a total of 30 years, including his time as prime minister, has achieved an ultra-long-term administration.


“Voter turnout: 77.4%, Approval rating: 87.3%”

Both figures are the highest ever recorded in a presidential election in Russia. However, Tsukuba University’s Professor Emeritus Nakamura Itsuro, knowledgeable about the situation in Russia, is skeptical.

“Pro-government individuals pointed out paperwork irregularities, resulting in the exclusion of opposition figures before the election. Essentially, Putin was the only candidate. Through a smartphone app, individuals’ mobile numbers were tied to their polling stations, making them traceable, leaving citizens with no other options. In the northwestern Arkhangelsk Oblast, prizes were offered to boost voter turnout. Winners could receive apartments, cars, or electronic goods through a lottery. This presidential election was a situation where anything goes.”

Putin has claimed to have “overwhelming support from the people” regarding the Ukraine invasion. To maintain credibility, as falling below the 76.7% approval rate of the previous election (in ’18) would undermine his narrative, he likely sought to stage a landslide victory. However, the situation in Ukraine has reached its third year of deadlock. Associate Professor Koizumi Yu from the University of Tokyo’s Center for Advanced Science and Technology speaks on this.

“While Russia has been perceived as dominant since the beginning of this year, it hasn’t been able to achieve overwhelming victory. Ukraine is still resisting, albeit struggling. Russia seems to be prolonging the war, waiting for Ukraine and its supporting countries to make noise.”

Furthermore, what has cornered Russia further is the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) membership of Northern European countries Finland and Sweden.

“The border between Russia and Finland extends about 1,350 kilometers. With Finland’s neutral policy shifting towards NATO membership, Russia now has to defend this previously unguarded long border. Previously, the Western Military District encompassed Ukraine and Belarus, but this year, it has been divided into two. This seems to be in response to Finland and Sweden,” Koizumi says.

The eerie aspect is Putin’s recent mention of “nuclear deployment” in speeches and media interviews.

“On February 29th: ‘New intervention by NATO in Russia could lead to a large-scale conflict using nuclear weapons.'”

“On March 13th: ‘Russia’s nuclear weapons are the most advanced of any country, and we are prepared for war.'”

While Putin’s references to nuclear use could be seen as threats, there’s also a realistic possibility of actual deployment.

“If Ukraine gains the upper hand, Russia will lose its ‘southern port to Europe,’ the Black Sea. Additionally, with the NATO membership of two Nordic countries, Russia would lose its ‘northern port,’ the Baltic Sea. For Russia, it’s not just about NATO advancing eastward; it’s about losing access to two seas, a significant blow. Russia has an exclave, Kaliningrad, bordering the Baltic Sea. There’s a risk that Putin, to defend the ‘northern port,’ could launch the nuclear missiles deployed there at the two Nordic countries.” (Nakamura)

Japan is not exempt from this threat.

“The greatest threat from Russia is to the United States. To divert U.S. military power, they might shift focus from Europe to East Asia. After his reelection in May, Putin is expected to visit his closest ally, North Korea, relatively early. He could instigate Kim Jong-un, prompting missile attacks on Japan and South Korea. If that happens, denying the use of nuclear weapons becomes impossible.” (Nakamura)

Putin, who has become a dictator in his 30 years of rule, is increasingly reaching for the nuclear button as the cornered emperor of Russia.

Vladimir Putin was elected to his fifth term as president. After his victory was confirmed, he mentioned the threat of a nuclear World War III.

From the April 5-12, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO. Russian Defense Ministry Press Office/UPI/Afro (1st photo) AP/Afro

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