Lunatic Putin WON’T be able to launch nuclear weapons – and I know why, says ex-US General | The Sun

VLADIMIR Putin could be thwarted in an attempt to fire a nuclear weapon by his own military leaders, said former military chiefs.

Russia is dangling the threat of nukes over their disastrous war in Ukraine even as they are beaten back across the frontline.


But two senior former Western military chiefs believe that it will never get that far – with Putin likely to be thwarted from such a mad move by his own chain of command.

US Lt. General Ben Hodges – the former commander of US Army Europe, who is now retired – believes that Vlad's orders could be overturned by cooler heads.

And his view is shared by retired British Army officer Colonel Richard Kemp, who said Putin would "have a problem".

It is feared the more storming progress the brave Ukrainians make – the more Putin faces being boxed into a corner as his own future is now tied to the war's success or failure.

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And one of the final options he has left in his arsenal is to unleash a nuclear weapon – whether as a test launch or used in a tactical setting on the battlefield.

Exploding a nuke in wartime hasn't occurred since the Americans dropped two bombs on the Japanese to end World War 2.

Western nations could face being further drawn into the war by such a gambit – further heightening the prospect that Putin's aggression could spiral into World War 3.

But while the increasingly paranoid and disconnected Vlad may seek press the nuclear button – there are those within the Russian war machine who could undermine him.

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Both General Hodges and Colonel Kemp agreed there is very little battlefield advantage to be gained by using a tactical nuke – small yield weapons designed to be used on the frontline.

And while it would likely have a psychological impact, it would simply serve to cauterise international condemnation against him and further support for the Ukrainians.

Russian nuclear strikes have to be officially signed off by Putin, who uses a small briefcase known as "The Cheget" – Vlad's equivalent of the US President's so-called "nuclear football".

The case however does not contain a launch button – but instead transmits launch orders to The General Staff.

And then this cadre of senior officers, headed by General Valery Gerasimov, has to make the arrangements for the nuclear strike.

They then transmit authorisation codes to the individual weapons commanders.

So there are multiple levels of military brass Putin's orders have to pass through before the nuke launches.

General Hodges told The Sun Online: "What I see is the [Russians] thinking, 'to what advantage do we get? None'.

That is why I think the people around Putin are saying 'why would we do this?', and I believe there are people around him who are planning for 'life after Putin'

"It won't change the conditions on the battlefield that would cause the Ukrainians to stop – there are massed in a place where a huge part of their forces can be destroyed."

He went on: "The Russian General Staff is professional enough to know that if they use a tactical nuclear weapon – it would be impossible for the US to not become further involved.

"So when you think about if there is no battlefield advantage, you only get the downside.

"That is why I think the people around Putin are saying 'why would we do this?', and I believe there are people around him who are planning for 'life after Putin'.

"Are they really prepared to deal with an American or Western response?"

General Hodges said he believes Russia would face "painful" and "decisive" response from the West if Putin opts to use nukes.

"It will show them, 'there is more where this came from, do not do it again'," the general told The Sun Online.

He added: "[Putin] would need the entire General Staff to go along with this- and I am not convinced that is likely."


It was reported this week the US and UK fear that Putin could attempt to detonate a nuclear weapon over the Black Sea.

And its feared such a blast – even in a remote area – could still have wide ranging consequences.

Colonel Kemp told The Sun Online however he believes someone in the Russian chain of command would be able to stop Putin.

"Even if he decides he is right in a corner and has no other options and wants achieve something by nuclear release, I think he might find he is up against a problem with the chain of command," he said.

"It is not just him who has the final say – there are about five levels of people who have to go along with it.

“Its quite possible among those five there are people who won’t go along with it.

"I would hope the West has been working on those individuals to try and persuade them this is not the right way to go.”

Colonel Kemp – who was the commander of British forces in Afghanistan – believes this means Putin's use of a nuke is now "less likely, than more likely".

But he did warn the West must still take Vlad's threats "seriously".

He also pointed out that if Putin does decide to use tactical nukeslikely will not have a major impact on the frontline.

And the colonel added Russia's use of a nuke in Ukraine could also see their already dwindling support from Putin's traditional ally China be further collapse.

Russia has been dangling the threat of nuclear weapons over Ukraine as its forces continue to be pushed back.

Moscow has red lines in its doctrine about when to use nukes – but they are softer than those in the West.

It is widely understood the current nuclear threats are referring specifically to smaller, tactical weapons designed for battlefield use rather than massive city-killing bombs.

Russia is thought to have around 2,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenal in the form of small yield missiles, torpedoes and artillery shells.

Moscow's war doctrine is believed to be open to using nuclear weapons in a conventional conflict as an intimidation tactic – and use of such a weapon must be signed off personally by Putin.

Putin's commanders believed they could roll over Ukraine in a matter of days – but now the war has been raging for eight months.

The tactic became known as "escalate to de-escalate".

They convinced Russia troops they would be greeted with cheers and waving flags as "liberators", instead they were faced with Kalashnikovs and molotov cocktails as invaders.

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Putin's war has become a slow and brutal quagmire – one which has seen the Russians change tactics, moving from attempts at surgical strikes to savage, indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

With further defeats on the horizon, a seemingly hopeless mass mobilisation, and a resurgent Ukraine storming towards their new "territory" – stoking fears the war could escalate once again.

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