What the Times writes
Just hours after ordering Russia to put its nuclear forces on "special" alert, Vladimir Putin sent Russian submarines capable of carrying 16 nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles each to the North Atlantic, the Times of London reports.
According to the newspaper, the British naval officers took this Russian expedition closer to the European shores as a "demonstration and warning" rather than a real threat.
According to the report, the submarines returned to Russia a little later and thus the normal levels of activity were restored. Since then, however, Western security services have been monitoring the Kremlin's nuclear arsenal more closely.
The Times reports that while Russia's use of "strategic" nuclear weapons such as those that could be carried out by these submarines is still considered "unthinkable", some analysts say they can imagine scenarios of using shorter range and less "tactical" nuclear weapons. weapons.
As explained, a regular nuclear weapon can usually destroy an area the size of a football field. A strategic nuclear weapon would destroy an entire city.
Experts point out in the newspaper that although the Russian dogma of war predicts the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons, no movement has been found from their storage facilities in Russia.
Among the experts speaking to the newspaper is Andrew Fouter, a professor at the University of Leicester who specializes in nuclear arsenals. He believes that there are three scenarios in which nuclear weapons could be used.
First, Russia to fire a "regular" nuclear weapon for the purpose of demonstrating power, most likely over the sea so that there are no casualties.
The second scenario envisages the use of regular nuclear weapons in Ukraine to destroy a large military or political target. Here Professor Futer notes that this does not seem to be necessary given Russia's considerable firepower.
Finally, Russia may have dared to strike with a regular nuclear weapon against a NATO member country. "I could only imagine such a thing happening if Russia thought that NATO was preparing for war and that a possible Russian defeat was imminent. "Whether the strike was against a military or a political target, this would potentially be the scenario of World War III," explains the British professor.