'Putin Is Becoming Quite Desperate,' Says Former NATO Commander: Will Nuclear Weapons Be Used?

Zinger Key Points
  • Stavridis examined Putin's speech to Russia on Wednesday, saying that the Russian leader is desperate.
  • He also said that he doesn't take Putin's threats of the use of nuclear weapons seriously.

Following Vladimir Putin's seven-minute address last week, calling up 300,000 additional troops to fight in Ukraine, retired admiral James Stavridis, a former NATO supreme allied commander for Europe, says the Russian President is showing signs of desperation.

What happened: Stavridis examined Putin's speech to Russia on Wednesday, in which he clearly threatened to use nuclear weapons and ordered the partial call-up of the Russian military reserves, in an interview with "The Cats Roundtable" podcast.

“I think Putin is becoming quite desperate,” Stavridis said,

Additionally, he asserted that no one will accept the results of the annexation referendums being held in the territory Russia has stolen from Ukraine

“The referendum is nonsense,” the former NATO commander said, “this is like a burglar breaking into your house, putting a gun to your head and saying ‘sign the deed to the house to me’ no one will recognize it.”

The referendums began Friday in the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Russian-backed officials called for the referendums as Ukraine mounted a major counteroffensive in which it says to have reclaimed more than 8,000 square kilometers (3,088 square miles) from Russian forces.

Stavridis also told the host that he does not take Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine seriously.

“He does not seriously contemplate using a nuclear weapon, he knows if he did it would cause the world entirely to turn against him, he would even lose support of the Chinese — no one is going to support a Russia that uses nuclear weapons,” Stavridis said.

Regarding the 300,000 troops that the Russian leader has enlisted to fight, Stavridis claims that this is problematic since nobody wants to be drafted, and as a result, there have been riots and people have fled the country, evoking memories of Vietnam War-style anxiety.

“[Putin] has lost about 80,000 [troops], now he needs to replace them,” the admiral said. “Nobody wants to be drafted.”

Why it matters: Negotiations to settle the crisis, he asserted, will be difficult because Russia holds a stronghold in around 10% of Ukraine, where there is significant pro-Russian support.

Putin, according to Stavridis, would present that notion at any negotiation table, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would contend that Russia must return all the area it seized because the invasion was unlawful.

Photo: Courtesy of ΝΕΑ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ and Charles Hutchins on Flickr

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Posted In: GovernmentNewsPoliticsTopicsGeneralJames StavridisVladimir Putin
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