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DISINFORMATION: Russia will be forced to resort to nuclear weapons

Disinformation

Putin has announced the start of World War III and will use nuclear weapons because, due to the West’s involvement, its forces cannot win the war. The narrative is promoted by Sorin Roșca Stănescu, who was given a criminal sentence and who is known for his opinions that very much resemble Russian propaganda. The Kremlin has long promoted the possible start of nuclear warfare, in order to determine the West to withdraw its support for Ukraine.

NEWS: “On May 9, in his address on the sidelines of the military parade in the Red Square, Vladimir Putin announced the start of World War III. In unequivocal terms. He explained that the Russian Federation has long been subject to a military assault from NATO countries. The gateway is Ukraine, which is why he was forced to trigger a pre-emptive war. To Putin’s mind, Ukraine is the primary stage of the new global conflict – Russia versus NATO, and NATO versus Russia. […] It’s just that NATO isn’t fighting this war alone, as defined by Vladimir Putin. We are in fact dealing with a coalition made up of no less than 40 states. NATO and non-NATO states. […] Yesterday, president Joe Biden appeared to confirm Vladimir Putin’s statement, when he signed a very important decree.  The history of World War II seems to repeat itself. Under this decree, the White House has a right to decide – and it has actually already decided – to transfer substantial amounts of military technology to Ukraine. […] In a world war, everything is thrown into the battle. Including, of course, the top-notch military arsenal. For the first time since the start of the aggression against Ukraine, the Russian Federation is showing real signs of having reached a stalemate, in technical terms. And the first to go out of commission are Russia’s state-of-the-art missiles. Russia has launched so many missiles in Ukraine, that it no longer has the capacity of resupplying its most advanced missile systems. Russia’s state-of-the-art missiles systems are guided and have the capacity of hitting fixed targets. The guiding trackers are made from electronic components which, due to the embargo on the Russian Federation, were exhausted from Russian military warehouses. […] In the absence of these components, military plants have limited or even stopped their production. The entire war industry might collapse sooner or later. In the long run, the measures taken by the European Union will also start to show, cutting back imports of Russian oil and gas dramatically, to the point they will be eliminated altogether. It is Russian oil and gas that have so far sustained Putin’s war machine. […] As a consequence, lacking any other means to carry this war through, a war which the Russian Federation believes to be not just pre-emptive, but vital to its survival, Putin is becoming increasingly tempted to use his nuclear arsenal. He will use tactical strikes first before turning to strategic objectives. This will be the time when NATO will inevitably be forced to press the nuclear button. […] Accordingly, the Kremlin leader announced in no uncertain terms that the Russian Federation is engaged in a world war, defending itself against NATO aggression, and has increasingly suggested he will be using his nuclear arsenal when the vital interests of Russia are under threat. Which is exactly what’s happening now.”

Reality

NARRATIVES: 1. Russia will be forced to use its nuclear arsenal, having used up all other alternatives. 2. Russia is actually fighting NATO in Ukraine. 3. Russia is waging a pre-emptive, defensive war against NATO’s aggressions.

BACKGROUND: Ever since the start of the war, Vladimir Putin suggested he might resort to nuclear weapons if any foreign power will intervene on the side of Ukraine, and has put its strategic forces on alert. Later, a number of Russian officials refused to explicitly rule out the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons, stating only that the conditions that require the use of strategic weapons are stipulated in the military doctrine of the country. While Russian officials preferred ambiguity, the state televisions and their guests did not refrain from openly talking about the imminence of nuclear warfare.

United Russia deputy, Evgeny Popov, was a guest on the “60 minutes” show on Rossiya-1, hosted by Olga Skabeyeva on April 27:

“We are talking about Sarmat missiles… The question is: can they stop them? This missile cannot be intercepted! Their capabilities are limited. They say they can shoot them down. We will see!”

Olga Skabeyeva: “From Kaliningrad, a Sarmat [missile] needs 106 seconds to reach Berlin. To hit Paris, 200 seconds. You were mentioning London…202 seconds.”

On the same evening, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russia Today, featured on the show hosted by Vladimir Solovyov, one of the most vocal propaganda journalists. Symonyan argued that, between losing the war in Ukraine and launching a new World War, Russia has no choice:

“I believe the Third World War is the real option. Knowing us, knowing our leader, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the hard-to-accept ending that it will all come down to a nuclear strike seems to me far more reasonable than any other outcome. On the one hand, it terrifies me, but on the other hand I think…this is it!”

Additionally, another well-established Kremlin propagandist, Dmitry Kiselyov, talked about the devastating effects that a nuclear missile launched from Russia on the United Kingdom would have in one of the news segments on Rossiya-1. He argued that the United Kingdom would be wiped out by a devastating tsunami.

Sorin Roșca Stănescu, a journalist and former politician who served time after being handed a sentence for “setting up an organized crime group”, among other offenses, is frequently promoting false narratives that are similar or identical to Russian propaganda.

PURPOSE: To intimidate the West in order to determine it to stop providing weapons to Ukraine, considering that Western deliveries of weapons have been pivotal in helping Kyiv achieve remarkable results on the battlefield. To demoralize and intimidate the Ukrainian army. To promote the myth of Russian military might for the public at home.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: In the speech he held in the Red Square in Moscow, Russian president Vladimir Putin did not say anything about World War III, as the author of the article, Sorin Roșca Stănescu, claims.

The probability of using nuclear weapons is extremely low, since even the detonation of a tactical nuclear weapon, with a reduced impact, will exponentially increase the risk of nuclear warfare. Just like during the Cold War, no party is interested in triggering a nuclear war, as this would involve the mutual destruction of belligerent parties. Irrespective of how far any of the two sides is willing to go to destroy the other’s nuclear arsenal, there would still be enough missiles left that won’t be stopped (for instance, missiles currently equipped in nuclear submarines). Moreover, the global-level destruction would be so extensive, that even third parties – countries such as China – are directly invested to avoid this scenario at any cost.

On Tuesday, the Director of the US National Intelligence Avril Haines, said Putin might be tempted to use nuclear weapons only when he sees an existential threat to his regime.

“We do think that [Putin’s perception of an existential threat] could be the case in the event that he perceives that he is losing the war in Ukraine, and that NATO in effect is either intervening or about to intervene in that context”, the head of the US National Intelligence said.

The US official went on to say that there will probably be a warning about the imminence of using nuclear weapons.

“There are a lot of things that he would do in the context of escalation before he would get to nuclear weapons”, Haines said.

A similar message was conveyed on the same day by the Russian deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Grushko, quoted by Reuters, namely that Russia could use nuclear weapons only if it faces an existential threat from conventional weapons, or if weapons of mass destruction are used against the Russian Federation.

Additionally, Russia is not fighting NATO in Ukraine, but the Ukrainian army. The latter is provided with weapons by the international community to be able to defend its territory against the current Russian invasion, not to attack Russia.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: It is possible Russia might plan to use nuclear weapons under certain circumstances.

  • Publication / Media:
    Corectnews.com
  • Date of publication:
    10/05/2022
  • Target audience:
    Eurosceptic, pro-Russian and anti-Western readers
  • Amplification:
    Solidnews.ro, ziuanews.ro
  • Key narrative:
    Russia will be forced to resort to nuclear weapons
Mădălin Necșuțu

12 May 2022

Updated at: 24 Jun 2022 17:11:13
Mădălin Necșuțu

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40 minutes read
  • Putin has announced the start of World War III and will use nuclear weapons because, due to the West’s involvement, its forces cannot win the war. The narrative is promoted by Sorin Roșca Stănescu, who was given a criminal sentence and who is known for his opinions that very much resemble Russian propaganda. The Kremlin has long promoted the possible start of nuclear warfare, in order to determine the West to withdraw its support for Ukraine.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. Russia will be forced to use its nuclear arsenal, having used up all other alternatives. 2. Russia is actually fighting NATO in Ukraine. 3. Russia is waging a pre-emptive, defensive war against NATO’s aggressions.
  • PURPOSE: To intimidate the West in order to determine it to stop providing weapons to Ukraine, considering that Western deliveries of weapons have been pivotal in helping Kyiv achieve remarkable results on the battlefield. To demoralize and intimidate the Ukrainian army. To promote the myth of Russian military might for the public at home.
  • НАРРАТИВЫ: 1. Россия будет вынуждена использовать свой ядерный арсенал, потому что у нее не будет другого выхода. 2. Россия фактически воюет в Украине против НАТО. 3. Россия ведет превентивную войну против агрессии НАТО.
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