Can Putin Bomb Turkey?

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Can Putin Bomb Turkey?
<a href="https://pixabay.com/users/WikiImages/">WikiImages</a> / Pixabay

In what appears to be direct calls for unleashing World War 3 involving nuclear weapons, Russian officials are urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to give a military response to Turkey for the downing of a Russian jet.

Russia’s Su-24 jet was shot down by Turkey in Turkish airspace in the morning of Tuesday, November 24. Turkey claims it had issued 10 warnings in 5 minutes to the Russian warplane, but it ignored all the warnings and the two F-16 jets were sent to destroy the bomber.

The Russian Defense Ministry insists its warplane never violated Turkish airspace, and was flying over the Syrian territory.

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And now the Russians want revenge. In particular, one of the nation’s leading politicians has urged Putin to use nuclear weapons on Russia’s “enemy number one,” Turkey, as reported by ValueWalk on Monday, citing the Daily Star.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic party and Russian presidential candidate in 2012, urged Putin to destroy the Turkish city of Istanbul, killing over nine million people. Zhirinovsky added that Turkey was stupid to shoot down the Russian warplane.

“A nuclear attack can destroy Istanbul very easily. Just one nuclear bomb in the Istanbul Strait will wash the city away,” Zhirinovsky told Moscow Speaking Radio.

“It would be such a terrible flood, the water would rise to between 10m and 15m and the city would [flood],” he continued and added, “And then there are nine million lives.”

The comments from Zhirinovsky come after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia not to “play with fire,” hinting at NATO’s 5th article, which states that an attack on one Ally shall be considered an attack on all NATO members.

NATO has an accomplice of terrorism within its ranks

Meanwhile, Gennady Zyuganov, First Secretary of Russia’s Communist Party since 1993, said that “NATO had never used its armed forces in the past 50 years to attack our country’s warplanes, which follow international agreements on fighting international terrorism,” according to Russia’s channel NTV.

Another Russian MP called Turkey a “country-accomplice of international terrorism.” Sergey Mironov, the leader of the faction A Just Russia in the Parliament of Russia, said that Turkey has presented itself as a country-accomplice of international terrorism, and the “entire world must draw certain conclusions,” according to NTV.

“Of course, Turkey ran immediately to NATO, which is why Brussels and other NATO states’ capitals will be voicing support for Turkey. It’s the same old double standards,” Mironov said.

Another leading Russia’s MP urged Putin to come up with a plan of action that would comply with Russia’s national interests. Sergei Zheleznyak, the deputy of the chairman of the Parliament of Russia, said that it is important to not get carried away by “emotional reaction, because that’s exactly what’s expected from us by those who organized and carried out this terrorist act against our warplane.”

“We must come up and realize the kind of plan of action that would fully comply with our national interests,” Zheleznyak added, according to NTV.

Will Putin drop nuclear bombs on a NATO member state?

So the question is: will Putin listen to Russia’s top officials? Or is he capable of ignoring the things that he hears in his office all day long – to bomb Turkey and unleash a nuclear war with NATO?

Turkey has refused to apologize for bringing down the Russia warplane on Tuesday, insisting that it intruded the NATO state member’s airspace and was warned repeatedly prior to being shot down by two Turkish jets.

In what appears to be a yet another escalation of tensions between NATO and Russia, Putin accused Turkey on Monday of shooting down the Russian jet to protect its alleged oil trade with ISIS.

Turkey has repeatedly denied any ties to the Islamic State, while the NATO member state is part of the U.S.-led coalition, which carries out airstrikes against the terror group in Syria.

But with Putin warning NATO of “serious consequences,” as well as deploying S-400 systems to Syria, analysts have every reason to believe that Putin is willing to start a nuclear war over the incident. The incident has already been named the most alarming military incident between a NATO member state and Russia in over 50 years.

And despite the fact that Turkey is backed by NATO’s 5th Article, the chances that the Kremlin is going to start a nuclear war against the Alliance are very “likely,” according to Pavel Felgengauer, Russia’s top military analyst, as reported by ValueWalk on Wednesday.

NATO vs Russia: who will destroy whom?

But if Putin will indeed listen to the constant urges of Russian officials to start a war with NATO, and if World War 3 will indeed be unleashed, what chances does NATO have in a military confrontation against Russia?

Russia’s cutting-edge Armata battle tank is the world’s most advanced tank to date. It is equipped with a 125mm cannon capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. The tank was showcased at Moscow’s Victory Parade earlier this year. As for NATO’s battle tanks, the closest it can get to countering Russia’s Armata is Germany’s Leopard 2A7 battle tank, which recently came into service.

As for self-propelled artillery hardware, Russia’s state-of-the-art 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV was also showcased at the military parade in May, and is the nearest equivalent to NATO’s M109A6 Paladin. Similar to the Koalitsiya-SV, the M109A6 Paladin is equipped with a 155mm cannon.

Russia’s most advanced fighter jet to date is Sukhoi Su-35. The Russia military expects the fighter jet to come into service by the end of this year. Meanwhile, NATO’s F35, which is a fifth generation fighter, is faster than the Sukhoi Su-35, but has a shorter range. The F35 comes into service this year, too.

As for naval hardware, Russia’s leading aircraft carrier – the Admiral Kuznetsov – is capable of carrying up to 52 aircraft and is more than 1,000 feet long. NATO’s PCU Gerald R. Ford is clearly more advanced, with the capability to carry up to 75 aircraft.

And finally, attack helicopters. Russia’s Mi-28 Havoc is capable of carrying up to four anti-tank missiles and is equipped with a 30mm underslung cannon. AH-64 Apache, which was built in the United States, is NATO’s leading attack helicopter. The helicopter is equipped with Hellfire missiles and has a range of nearly 300 nautical miles.

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