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Putin and nuclear weapons – scolded by them

Putin and nuclear weapons – scolded by them

For several years, Vladimir Putin has maintained a tight grip on freedom of expression in Russia.

Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine last February, Russia’s propaganda and media censors have gotten tougher — and spreading “fake news” related to the war carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

Criticism of the war and the Kremlin’s handling of it is therefore a rare commodity in the Russian media, but in a press report on Wednesday, a group of Russian scientists strongly opposed Russia’s nuclear weapons strategy.

– You know his gluttony

towards nuclear weapons

The Russian newspaper Kommersant published two different cases of nuclear weapons on Wednesday last week.

In the first, nuclear weapons were mentioned as a solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

The article was largely based on Sergei Karaganov’s views on nuclear weapons. Karaganov, head of the Russian Security and Foreign Affairs Council and a close ally of Putin, called for lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons two weeks ago, stressing the importance of “the enemy knowing that Russia will respond to acts of aggression.” . “

– In the Russian expert community, there are more and more people who believe that practical preparations of nuclear weapons, or even their limited use in the war in Ukraine, will be able to prevent a global catastrophe, depending on the situation BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenbergwho translated the articles in a video on Twitter.

President Putin confirms that the main attack on Ukraine is under way
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But what’s interesting is the story following the paper on nuclear weapons, which was titled “Nuclear war is a bad way to solve problems,” Rosenberg wrote.

In the article written by leading Russian academics Alexey Arbatov, Konstantin Bogdanov, and Dmitry Stefanovic, researchers attack Karaganov.

The idea that nuclear weapons can prevent escalation and solve strategic problems that conventional military means cannot do is wrong. The researchers write that a nuclear attack will lead to a whole new level of unpredictability, which is the worst foundation for a brighter future.

The car can reveal cruelty

The car can reveal cruelty

debatable signs

It goes without saying that there is an outpouring of debate over nuclear weapons in Russia, where society is otherwise characterized by strict control and political accommodation, says Christian Outland, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Defense Research Institute.

– In the article, they argued against the idea and arguments that nuclear weapons would be able to solve the conflict in Ukraine. This shouldn’t be a controversial opinion, but in Russia it is considered to be, at least in certain circles. They do not directly criticize Putin and the Kremlin, but indirectly criticize the Russian regime for even considering the use of nuclear weapons. It contradicts everything Putin, President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier, he told Dagbladet.

Despite this, the article is unlikely to have serious consequences, Oland believes.

The expert: Christian Outland.  Photo: Norwegian Institute for Defense Research

The expert: Christian Outland. Photo: Norwegian Institute for Defense Research
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– It is important for someone in Russia’s security policy research environment to address the threat of nuclear weapons, and it is very positive that they dare to speak out. The authors speak with professional authority and weight, and one can hope that this will hold significance for political assessments when it comes to the use of nuclear weapons.

He adds:

– This shows that there is a certain leeway for what can be deployed – at least when it comes to the nuclear dimensions of war. Other parts may be more controversial for expressing a critical opinion, such as the actions of the Russian army on the battlefield.

Ukrainians are slowly accelerating

Ukrainians are slowly accelerating

– System service

However, Atli Grun, professor of Russian at the University of Oslo, believes that there is no question of real discussion.

– There is a certain amount of controversy, but everyone must play the role that the system defines and benefit from it politically, he tells Dagbladet and adds:

– It is permissible to be more extreme than Putin and the authorities, but you cannot be more moderate. I interpret the fact that there are some academics cautioning against the use of nuclear weapons as claiming that it is a real discussion. It only benefits the system, and makes the threat more brutal because one feels that this is something they consider allowing.

A mysterious message appeared on the screen just before Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at an economic forum in St. Petersburg on Friday, June 16. Correspondent: Edward Stenlund. Video: Reuters
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– But why would opponents of nuclear weapons get away with it in a state-controlled newspaper?

– Russia has not yet used nuclear weapons, if they had been used, the opponents, most likely, would not have said their word in the newspapers. In Soviet times, there were no dissenting voices in public opinion, but in today’s authoritarian regime, which lacks freedom of speech, it is still unofficial that there is no freedom of speech. This is why they have televised debates where they pretend there are people invited to debate. Now and then they have a useful idiot who makes everyone violently agitated, but they can never go so far as to condemn war. Everything falls within the framework presented by the highest echelons of the Kremlin, Gron explains.

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