On Sept. 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that he could resort to “all available means of destruction” in his war against Ukraine, pointedly adding, “It’s not a bluff.” Days later, he accused the United States of setting the nuclear warfare “precedent,” referring to the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945 to end World War II.
On Monday, NATO warned that Russia may have deployed the nuclear powered submarine Belgorod into the Kara Sea to test the Poseidon “doomsday” weapon it has aboard, capable of creating a “radioactive tsunami.”
In the past seven months since Putin invaded Ukraine, Russian forces have lost approximately 80,000 personnel and killed 9,000 Ukrainians. Thousands are wounded and maimed on both sides. Multiple cities are in ruins.
And, as Ukraine keeps fighting back and Russia looks increasingly weak, here are eight reasons why Putin is likely not bluffing, just as he says, about using nuclear weapons.