On Wednesday, March 9, the news that Russia intends to transmit to the OPCW, theOrganization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an indictment of the Ukrainian government for the development of unconventional weapons. This happens while the televisions controlled by the Moscow government - that is, all those active in the Russian Federation - do not stop talking, albeit without foundation, of American chemical weapons factories in Ukraine and of Kiev's phantom plans to acquire nuclear weapons.
On closer inspection, it is not a mass media gimmick, but it portends something: after all, the echo of Putin's speeches on February 21 and 24, including the many references to nuclear power, continues to bounce around in Russia and in the world. Now no one in their right mind can ignore the fact that the former KGB spy who has risen to the Kremlin does what he writes and openly announces his intentions. He does not hide, except to show his moves to those who can become docile for fear and to confuse those who are not ready to oppose. Accustomed to the idea that there are no positions and values that are not negotiable, we Westerners have underestimated all this.
Yet, since the dawn of February 24, the world no longer appears the same: a deeper and more rapid change has occurred than that imposed by the pandemic. However, even if the paradigm has changed, even today we pretend not to understand the meaning of the words spoken by Vladimir Putin himself in those two speeches and especially three days later, on February 27, in the presence of Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and the chief Joint Staff Valery Gerasimov. On that occasion, the Russian leader ordered the deterrence forces of the Russian army - which include nuclear weapons - to be placed under "special combat service regime" as "Western countries are not only taking hostile actions against our country in the economic sphere, I mean those sanctions that everyone is well aware of, but also the senior officials of the main NATO countries are making aggressive statements against our country".
But what are deterrence forces? The reference is to the strategic defensive and offensive forces: the latter include non-nuclear or dual nuclear systems, including bombers, submarines, naval units, ships armed with cruise missiles, etc., in addition to dual-use hypersonic missiles and soon also the RS -28 Sarmat, Better known as Satan-2, capable of carrying 12 nuclear warheads.
In light of this clarity of purpose, the spread of false and alarmist messages about weapons of mass destruction in possession or under development in Ukraine does not seem only aimed at mobilizing internal public opinion, but rather seems to justify the next step of the Russian leader and his acolytes. Let's not forget that these are people now locked in a corner, following two failures: the blitz designed to gain control of Ukraine in a few days and probable, even according to the Western chancelleries, that of the air campaign that is hammering Kiev, Sumy, Odessa, Kharkiv and Mariupol. The latter, terrorist and exhausting, will be useless without a decisive ground attack by Russian forces on the five cities and without a massive use of occupation forces, operations for which, according to experts, the eventual - and impossible - use of the Land Forces or SV1, of the Navy or VMF2 and the Aerospace Force or VKS RF3, taken in their entirety, would not be sufficient.
Here, then, is why we have defined Putin and his closest collaborators as “locked in a corner”: they are caught between the absence of a clear and glorious victory and the impossibility of communicating directly with the Russian people and elites as things are going, but also deprived of the negotiating way out, which would throw a tombstone on their political future (and perhaps not only on that). They are few men, perhaps not even representative of the will of the majority of Russians, as some regime polls would have us believe, but they are at the top of a nuclear power and have no sure way out. They got themselves into a trap, with their own hands ...
Thus, the atomic ghost materializes: when Ukraine has refused yet another invitation to allow itself to be neutralized and disarmed, the use of nuclear weapons will seem the only solution. They can easily say that it is the same thing that the United States did to force Japan to surrender: to annihilate an entire city. And if, like Japan, the Ukrainians deem it foolish to surrender themselves into the hands of those who use nuclear weapons against them and reject the request to surrender, then another city will be electrocuted.
How Western leaders will react, we cannot imagine: we do not even know if after exceeding the extreme limit and with a Russian leadership group at that point "enemy of mankind", they will let Moscow strike a second time, without having it first. at least threatened.
At that point, following the first strike or after the second, once the worst has materialized, will the world really risk sinking into the abyss?
1 Suchoputnye vojska
2 Voyenno-morskoy flot
3 Vozdušno-Kosmičeskie Sily Rossijskoj Federacii
Photo: Russian Federation MoD