Russia , March 14, 2024 In his latest address, President Vladimir Putin underscored Russia’s preparedness to utilize nuclear weapons should its sovereignty or independence face threats, casting another stark caution to Western powers just ahead of an impending election that virtually guarantees his extended tenure by another six years.

Since the onset of a comprehensive invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Putin has recurrently emphasized his willingness to resort to nuclear arms. His most recent pronouncement materialized in his state-of-the-nation discourse last month, cautioning against escalated Western engagement in the Ukrainian conflict, positing the risk of nuclear conflict.

During an interview with Russian state television released early Wednesday, Putin, when questioned about the potential deployment of battlefield nuclear weapons in Ukraine, asserted the absence of such necessity hitherto. Additionally, he expressed skepticism regarding an impending nuclear war, citing U.S. President Joe Biden’s seasoned political acumen and comprehension of escalation perils.

In response to Putin’s remarks, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres’ spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, advocated for discourse devoid of rhetoric that could inadvertently escalate tensions, emphasizing the catastrophic global ramifications.

Putin’s declarations seemingly communicate to the West his resolve to leverage all available means to safeguard Russia’s gains in Ukraine. He affirmed Moscow’s readiness to employ nuclear arms in defense of “the existence of the Russian state, our sovereignty, and independence,” in alignment with the nation’s security doctrine.

Moreover, Putin cautioned nations, particularly NATO allies supporting Kyiv, against overlooking Russia’s threshold for red lines. He emphasized that Russia, bereft of red lines vis-à-vis other nations, reciprocates non-restraint.

In light of recent battlefield advancements, Putin contended that Ukraine and its Western backers would inevitably acquiesce to terms favorable to Russia to terminate the conflict. He advocated for negotiations ensuring the Russian Federation’s security guarantees, precluding enemy rearmament.

Putin also attributed a surge in Ukrainian drone incursions deep into Russian territory to efforts aimed at destabilizing Russia’s imminent presidential election. These attacks, coupled with successful strikes targeting Russia’s Black Sea naval and aerial assets, have severely impeded Moscow’s naval operations, prompting leadership reshuffles within the Russian navy.

Russian media reported the purported dismissal of Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, citing the recent setbacks in the Black Sea Fleet’s operations. However, neither the Kremlin nor the Defense Ministry has corroborated these claims.