Both the bravado about the use of nuclear weapons and the real threats presented by Russia’s war in Ukraine are important lessons for us, and they do not suggest any optimism, both for us and for humanity, said the political pundit Igor Boțan during an IPN debate mulling the question of whether Ukraine’s victory is possible without the nuclear disarmament of Russia.
“The propagandists were very successful in intoxicating public opinion. For the Russians, the use of nuclear weapons is no longer an unusual thing. As the propagandists say, if we have it, why not use it? The question is absolutely idiotic, because everyone understands that the nuclear weapon has become a weapon of mutual destruction. Hence its deterrent effect: no one uses the nuclear weapon, because immediately the response comes and it means suicide. Both for the one who first pulled the trigger and for the target”.
“On the one hand, we are glad that we understand the processes that take place in the stars, we can talk with enthusiasm that the Sun represents the third generation of stars, that the previous stars formed, through fusion, heavier nuclei. And after the explosions, look, we have all the elements of Mendeleev’s table... That sounds so beautiful, so amazing. And the flip side is that we are so vulnerable - because some irresponsible people have put into their heads the idea that they have a special, messianic role. That they have tremendous potential and capacity. That they are built on a code of winners and they cannot lose wars”, opined the speaker.
These nefarious ideas are inoculated into the population, and the notion of war does not disgust people. “They really believe that Russia cannot lose. So, if they don’t lose, they win, and it’s a shame not to join the army and contribute to the victory. Go to Ukraine and kill there”, the panelist said. “We understand all the components of this propaganda war, run by unscrupulous people. But understanding this is not enough, you have to take measures to protect yourself”.
Igor Boțan believes that Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons are part of the propaganda war, of intimidation. At the same time, the use of tactical “dirty bombs” is not to be ruled out.
The risks also lie in the fact that Russia has no chance against the West in a conventional war. Russia’s GDP is about 2 percent of the global total, and the GDP of the 50 countries participating in the Ramstein format exceeds 60 percent. “I also don’t see why Russia would use the atomic weapon, which remains a deterrent, when it is clear that its use is suicidal,” the expert opined.
In these worrying circumstances, the West will continue to help Ukraine, the expert believes. “This aid will be offered piecemeal, unfortunately. But the strategy of not upsetting the Kremlin’s decision-makers by causing them to react uncontrollably is proving to be useful. Russia understands that if, God forbid, something happens, the isolation will be total”.
The debate was the 3rd installment of “The impact of the past on confidence-building and peace-building processes” Series, supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.