While Russia’s back has already been to the proverbial wall for months, the Kremlin is now showing some rather overt signs of panic this week with a diplomatic maneuver that may just signal the beginning of the end for all of humanity.
Sure, that sounds a bit dramatic when it’s dropped so nonchalantly on a Tuesday afternoon, but Russia’s deepening dependence on nuclear rhetoric to keep NATO and the western world from interfering in Ukraine is a rather frightening reality of life on planet earth in 2023.
This week, the Kremlin took yet another worrisome step toward the possibility of a nuclear holocaust by excusing themselves from the last atomic treaty that that had shared with the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Tuesday that Moscow was suspending its participation in the New START treaty — the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the United States — sharply upping the ante amid tensions with Washington over the fighting in Ukraine.
Speaking in his state-of-the-nation address, Putin also said that Russia should stand ready to resume nuclear weapons tests if the U.S. does so, a move that would end a global ban on nuclear weapons tests in place since the end of the Cold War.
Explaining his decision to suspend Russia’s obligations under the 2010 New START treaty, Putin accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of openly declaring the goal of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.
The Russian leader’s rhetoric was troubling.
“They want to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on us and try to get to our nuclear facilities at the same time,” he said, declaring his decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the treaty.
The move was more bark than bite, however.
Putin emphasized, however, that Russia was not withdrawing from the pact altogether. Hours after his address, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the country would respect the caps on nuclear weapons set under the treaty.
The sheer amount of nuclear narrative that Russia has employed over the course of these last several months is worrisome, certainly, but even the belligerent and hopeless Vladimir Putin appears to know where the uncrossable lines are.
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