Putin’s Threat: Russia Was Ready To Use Nuclear Weapons

Putin’s Threat: Russia Was Ready To Use Nuclear Weapons
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Moscow was ready to put its nuclear forces on alert to ensure Russia’s annexation of Crimean peninsula from Ukraine last year in case of intervention by the US and its allies, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said in a pre-recorded documentary aired on Sunday. The documentary was broadcasted on Russian state television to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Kremlin’s seizure of the Black Sea peninsula.

The film featured an interview with Putin in which he admits “we were ready to do this” when asked about his willingness to ready Russia’s nuclear forces. Russian President said he sent military intelligence and elite navy marines in order to initiate the disarmament of 20,000 Ukrainian troops in Crimea. However, no specific date was given for the Putin interview.

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He revealed that in order to take control of the peninsula, Russia deployed K-300P Bastion coastal defense missile “in a way that made them seen clearly from space” as a military deterrent to the perceived threat of attack from the West.

“Russian people live there,” Putin reminded of his feelings toward Crimea after the fall of pro-Russian regime in Ukraine. “They were in danger. We cannot abandon them.”

Putin also said that Russia helped save the life of Ukraine’s former pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovych, who he said had been in danger after protesters overthrew him in an armed coup “masterminded by our American friends” back in February 2014.

This is yet another Putin’s accusation of US orchestrating the crisis: “They helped training the nationalists, their armed groups, in Western Ukraine, in Poland and to some extent in Lithuania. They facilitated the armed coup.” Moreover, Putin called the US President Barack Obama’s administration “puppet-masters.”

Putin said Yanukovych had called on 21 February 2014 and said about his plans to leave Kyiv, where violent street protests had been raging for weeks.  “I told him my point of view that, in such a situation, it’s best not to leave the capital,” said Putin. Then, Viktor Yanukovych fled Ukraine on February 22, eventually resurfacing in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

Putin ordered its armed forces to be ready for any outcome

Putin, who has controlled Russia for 14 years, said his plans for a Crimean annexation started after Yanukovych fled. “We never thought about severing Crimea from Ukraine until the moment that these events began, the government overthrow,” he said, repeating his belief that Yanukovych was the victim of a coup.

So Putin ordered Russian forces to take control of Ukrainian military facilities on the peninsula, while a referendum on secession was called. The referendum was denounced in the West as illegitimate and ‘brought’ overwhelming support for secession. The final stage of the Russian annexation of Crimea was completed on March 19 2014.

“Of course it wasn’t immediately understandable (what the reaction would be to Crimea’s annexation). Therefore, in the first stages, I had to orient our armed forces. Not just orient, but give direct orders,” Putin added.

Russia wasn’t sure how the US and Europe would react, so Putin ordered its armed forces to be ready for any outcome, said the Russian President. “I spoke to colleagues and I told them that this is our historic territory, Russian people live there, they are in danger and we can’t abandon them. What do you want to fight for? You don’t know? We know. And we’re ready for that.”

Initially, Putin flatly denied sending troops to Crimea, saying that Russian military uniforms worn by the unmarked forces (“little green men”) who took control of Crimea could have been bought at any store. Last April, he said during a TV show that Russian servicemen had assisted local self-defense units.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March last year triggered the worst geopolitical conflict with the US and Europe since the Cold War. The tension has further escalated during the Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine that’s killed over 6,000 people over the past year and counting. Despite the cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk on February 12, the US is still considering arming Ukrainian forces.

Out of Public View

The documentary comes as Vladimir Putin, 62, has not been seen in public or on live television since March 5, which is his longest absence from public view in more than two years, and leads to speculation over his health. However, the Kremlin officials, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, have repeatedly denied that Mr. Putin was ill, and insisted that he was “absolutely” healthy, adding that the president’s handshake was still so strong it could “break your hand”.

The independent news broadcaster Dozhd reportedly cited anonymous sources on Sunday saying the leader was recuperating from the flu in one of his country residences outside Moscow. Meanwhile, an Austrian newspaper reported, but didn’t say where it obtained the information, that Putin was suffering from back pain, and that a Viennese orthopedic expert had travelled to Russia to treat him.

The back pain thing is not something completely new. In 2012, three sources told Reuters that Vladimir Putin, who was briefly absent from public life and seen limping in public, was suffering from back pain. Putin then returned, with little explanation.

On Friday, the Kremlin announced a series of engagements for Putin this week, including a meeting with the Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev in St. Petersburg today (on Monday) and South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov in Moscow on Wednesday.

Putin’s former advisor, and now political commentator, Andrey Illarionov explained Putin’s 10-day absence from public view, saying that a coup is underway and Putin has been detained.

Anyway, Putin’s next public appearance is scheduled for today when he is set to meet with the Kyrgyz president in St. Petersburg, so we will find out more.

Stay tuned for more information.

Updated on

Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.
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  1. What is the “THREAT” here? If you place your Nukes all around a country and try to scare it, What is it’s options anyway?
    If the Nation in question is N-Capable, it is going to try and finish you off, before you get a chance to do it first, EU is trying hard to reduce the Russian Economy to the pathetic level of EU’s own member states. What EU does not realise is by going around and trying to scare Russia it is now condemning itself to the N-War aftermath, U.S is far away and has nothing to loose. But what about the ordinary civilians in EU territory?. It is heartening to see Germany and France in a conciliatory mood. May be they can see through this war mongering tactics and may stand up to that. Hope they succeed. As far as Russia is concerned, no one can blame them if they hit back hard, Since they are the victims of deliberate cornering here

  2. “Russia helped save the life of Ukraine’s former pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovych”,

    While religiously repeated in Western propaganda, this is just a plain lie. It was Yanu who brought Ukraine to the verge of signing the EU Association Agreement, only bowing out at the last minute after EU repeatedly refused to make the agreement even remotely fair to Ukraine and refused to negotiate with Russia in tripartite talks. It was Yanu who brought in Western (instead of Russian) gas companies to explore Ukrainian gas reserves. It was Yanu who prosecuted Tymoshenko – against the Kremlin’s desires – for illegally forcing Naftogaz into a gas contract with Russia that was favorable to Russia (and, no doubt, Tymoshenko and her clan) but unfavorable to Ukraine. It was Yanu who increased trade with EU.

    I could go on and on … Yanu was in the middle, he was playing Russia and EU against each other. Most of all Yanu was pro-Yanu and his “family”. Only reason he fled to Russia instead of EU is that EU, as it typically does, betrayed him and had him overthrown – it was EU that was trying to assassinate him, and to recover his allegedly stolen billions. Why would he run to those who had made him enemy number one for doing what is right for his country and refusing to sign a grossly exploitive and destructive agreement with EU?

  3. It’s not a “threat” when you indicate your military doctrine. Russia’s doctrine, like that of the US, China, Israel, India, UK, France and every other nuclear power (that’s why they have them – duhh), is it is willing to use nuclear weapons to defend itself from attack. Are you suggesting Russia should lie about it’s doctrine? Or that it is better if war-mongering Americans who cannot wait until US destroys the next victim country should not be made aware that Russia is no helpless victim to destroy at will?

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