MOSCOW — In a public statement earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of Russian military forces and signaled his willingness to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war, including when Russia’s “territorial integrity” is threatened.
In reaction to the statement, Derek Johnson, Managing Partner at Global Zero, the international movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons, issued the following statement:
“Vladimir Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons must be condemned in the strongest possible terms and met with increased economic and diplomatic consequences by the entire international community. There is no place in the world for nuclear weapons and these latest threats show the extreme depths of Russia’s aggression and irresponsibility.
“Putin’s nuclear threats reveal his weakness in the face of Ukrainian resolve. Throughout this conflict, the United States and NATO have exercised restraint, avoiding nuclear provocations and offering Putin diplomatic off-ramps to end his invasion of Ukraine. The United States and NATO must continue to hold fast and refuse to take the bait.
“While all nuclear-armed nations bear responsibility for the inherent dangers posed by these weapons, today there can be no moral equivocation or equivalency. Putin’s threat to escalate his war of aggression in Ukraine to a nuclear conflict is uniquely irresponsible and dangerous. There are no bystanders in a nuclear war. If this conflict goes nuclear, the consequences will be severe and global; no government can afford to let these threats slide.
“Earlier this year, Russia joined the governments of the United States, China, France, and the United Kingdom to affirm that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” This principle recognizes the inherent risks and unacceptable dangers posed by continued reliance on nuclear weapons and must be operationalized in every dimension of engagement among nuclear-armed governments. That begins with unequivocally condemning and refraining from any threat to use these weapons.”
Thumbnail photo by Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=122594773