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Uncommon Decency

Oct 28, 2022

"This is not a bluff. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them.” With those words, Russian President Vladimir Putin renewed fears across the globe that Russia could employ nuclear weapons in its war with Ukraine. As we edited this episode, Russia conducted its annual nuclear exercises, drills that had added resonance given the Kremlin’s implied threats to use nuclear force in the conflict in Ukraine. But how likely is Putin to use nuclear weapons? And how would Russia use one in the war? To answer these questions and puncture some myths surrounding nuclear weapons and Russian nuclear doctrine, we spoke to Olga Oliker, Program Director for Europe and Central Asia at the International Crisis Group, and Bruno Tertrais, Deputy Director of the Foundation for Strategic Research, a French think tank.

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