A former CIA director has warned that US and NATO allies will destroy Russian forces if Russian President Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons in his war against Ukraine.
David Petraeus appeared on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, where he said Putin’s nuclear threats must be taken seriously and the leader was “desperate” because the “battlefield reality he faces is irreversible. “.
Putin signed a decree earlier this week to illegally annex parts of Ukraine. A few days later, however, Russia was forced to withdraw its troops from strategically important Lyman, located in one of the four Ukrainian regions annexed by Russia.
In signing the decree, Putin also condemned the “satanic” West and vowed to use the full power of the Kremlin to protect Russia’s new territory. The remark was widely seen as a nuclear threat.
Petraeus said that although Ukraine is not a NATO country, a “US-NATO response” would be in order.
He told host Jonathan Karl that the likelihood of radiation from a nuclear weapon reaching a NATO country could perhaps be interpreted as an attack on a NATO member.
‘This is so horrible that there must be an answer – it cannot go unanswered.
“Just to give you a guess, we would respond by leading a NATO effort – a collective one – that would eliminate all Russian conventional forces that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Crimea and also in Crimea and all ships in the Black Sea. ‘
Former CIA Director David Petraeus appeared on ABC’s ‘This Week’ where he warned that US and NATO allies would destroy Russian forces if Russian President Vladimir Putin used nuclear weapons in his war against Ukraine.
Ukraine claimed full control of the eastern logistics hub of Lyman on Sunday. The region is Russia’s biggest battleground gain in weeks, providing a potential staging post for further attacks in the east while increasing pressure on the Kremlin.
Russia probably suffered heavy losses during the withdrawal. Russia had 5,000 to 5,500 troops in the city before the Ukrainian attack, a Ukrainian military spokesman said on Saturday.
More than 60,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war which is now entering its eighth month.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the capture of the town, where Ukrainian flags were hoisted above municipal buildings on Saturday, demonstrated that Ukraine is capable of dislodging Russian forces and has showed the impact Ukraine’s deployment of advanced Western weapons had on the conflict.
“President Zelensky and Ukraine have mobilized much better than Russia,” Petraeus said on Sunday. “Ukraine has recruited, trained, equipped, organized and employed forces incomparably better than Russia.”
“The reality of the battlefield he faces is, I think, irreversible,” he said. “No amount of shambolic mobilization, which is the only way to describe it; no amount of annexation; no nuclear threat, even veiled, can really get him out of this particular situation.
“At some point there will have to be recognition of that. At some point, there will have to be some kind of beginning of negotiations, as President Zelensky said, this will be the ultimate end.
However, Petreaus pointed out that “Russia has been hit with a thousand more individual, personal and other sanctions” in response to annexation, “showing that the West still has more to do with Russia.”
He continued with a warning: “It can get even worse for Putin and for Russia. And even the use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield won’t change that.
But added: “You have to take the threat seriously.”
Petraeus also said he didn’t see how Russia could win at this stage.
‘They can not. There is nothing he [Putin] can do at this point.
Petraeus’ remarks come after Putin on Friday proclaimed the annexation of four regions covering nearly a fifth of Ukraine, as the war enters its eighth month
He told co-presenter Jonathan Karl that the likelihood of radiation from a nuclear weapon reaching a NATO country could perhaps be interpreted as an attack on a NATO member.
Earlier on Sunday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called Putin’s nuclear threats “the sound of a sword”, but condemned the autocrat for continuing to upend the world order.
“There is no control over Mr Putin. Just like he made the irresponsible decision to invade Ukraine, you know, he could make another decision,’ Austin told Fareed Zakaria GPS.
“But I don’t see anything at the moment that would lead me to believe that he made such a decision.”
Videos have emerged showing Russian troops forcing Ukrainian civilians to go to the polls at gunpoint to vote on whether to join Moscow’s jurisdiction.
“As you have heard us say, this referendum is a sham. It’s fiction. And we will never respect their illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, and neither will most of the international community,” Austin said Sunday.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threat was ‘irresponsible’ but predicted the autocrat was unlikely to follow through
Austin called Putin’s veiled nuclear threat “irresponsible.”
“That nuclear saber blast is not the kind of thing we would expect to hear from the leaders of large, capable countries,” the Pentagon chief said.
He acknowledged the high-level talks between Washington and Moscow on the issue, but Austin said he hasn’t spoken to his Russian counterpart “in recent days.”
“I have addressed this issue and warned against going down this path and engaging in this type of irresponsible behavior,” Austin said.
“So yeah, I’ve personally done that in the past, but I haven’t spoken to him recently.”
Petreaus told ABC he did not speak to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about the likely US response to Russia’s nuclear escalation.
He explained that if Russian forces used nuclear weapons in Ukraine, it would not be a situation triggering Article 5 of the alliance, which calls for collective defence. This is because Ukraine is not part of NATO – but a “US-NATO response” would be in order.
For several months, the Russian army stood near the northern outskirts of Kharkiv, bombarding the area with heavy weapons. Most of the houses in the neighborhood were damaged or destroyed, in Kharkiv on October 1, 2022
Russia probably suffered heavy losses in its recent withdrawal. Russia had 5,000 to 5,500 troops in the city before the Ukrainian attack, a Ukrainian military spokesman said on Saturday.
Ukraine’s military said in its evening statement on Sunday that its forces had repelled Russian advances in several areas – particularly in the Donetsk region near Bakhmut and Spirne, just inside the Donetsk region near Lysychansk , a major center in the neighboring Lugansk region.
Russian forces had captured Lyman in Ukraine in May and used it as a logistics and transport hub for their operations in the northern Donetsk region. Its recapture by Ukrainian troops is Russia’s biggest battlefield loss since Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive in the northeast Kharkiv region in September.
Control of Lyman could prove a “key factor” in helping Ukraine reclaim lost territory in neighboring Luhansk region, which Moscow announced had been fully captured in early July after weeks of massive advances, the official said. governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Gaidai.
A Ukrainian soldier patrols the recently recaptured Kupiansk Vuzlovyi railway station in the Kharkiv region on October 2. More than 60,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war which is now entering its eighth month
A woman cries while praying during a Sunday afternoon service at the Pokrovsky Cathedral on October 2, 2022 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have retaken villages east and south of Kharkiv, as Russian forces have withdrawn from areas they have occupied since the start of the war.