Russian President Vladimir Putin | Copyright: PA

Putin’s plan A is nuclear war. Only the West can stop him. 

Having once boasted the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world in 1991, Ukraine is the only country to have voluntarily given up its nuclear weapons. Ukraine’s decision was based on the Budapest Memorandum which gave Ukraine formal security guarantees from the USA, the UK and Russia.

After Russia’s violation of every possible international treaty, no country in the world will ever do the same again. For decades world leaders have worked towards nuclear non-proliferation but now, the opposite is happening – they are making preparations for the possibility of nuclear war which looks closer than ever before.

Former US President Bill Clinton expressed his regret in persuading Ukraine to give up our nuclear weapons and that if this hadn’t happened, Putin may not have invaded in 2014 and again in 2022.

Mr Clinton is right – Russia would never have invaded. If Ukraine still had nuclear weapons, we would have been able to keep the tyrant away.

Instead, Russia now not only holds the title of the only Permanent Member of the United Nations to invade its neighbour and ignite the biggest war in Europe since World War 2, but it is also the only nuclear state to threaten the rest of the globe with nuclear attacks.

Make no mistake, in Moscow propagandists are taking huge delight in threatening the UK with a nuclear attack.

“London has openly declared a war to Russia with all its consequences. Bye-bye, London”, ranted propagandist Vladimir Solovyov last year. “Naval base Clyde, also known as Faslane, which is the base for nation’s nuclear submarines, is the main target also in the format of some exchange of attacks” said Putin puppet Igor Korotchenko.

Others such as Kremlin supporting journalist Gevord Miroyan have warned the UK that Russia “has the right” to carry out a nuclear attack if the UK supplies Ukraine with ammunition which contains depleted uranium. They justify this by falsely claiming that depleted uranium breaches is a nuclear component. In reality, it is a standard component British forces have been using for decades.

Russia’s military doctrine is centred around using nuclear weapons once its territory is attacked. By including Ukrainian territories in Russia, Putin can use it as an excuse to use nuclear weapons on the UK and other nations. Some foreign experts claim that the red line for Russia could be the liberation of Crimea, a position endorsed by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

If history has taught us anything, it is that the propagandists push Putin’s plan A long before it is implemented. Months before the Russian February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, these same Putin mouthpieces were talking about attacking Ukraine. Over the past few months there have been an increasing number of propagandists and even some officials in Russia talking about nuclear attacks.

Will Russia carry out a nuclear attack – Should the UK be concerned? 

The threats are very real and Putin’s plan A is to use nuclear weapons as soon as he can justify it.

The Russian dictator could however be pushed back to a plan B if the West make it crystal clear to him what will happen if he uses nuclear weapons – that they will destroy Russia.

Doing so would be a change in gear for the West. To date, they have yet to clearly set out to Putin the ramifications of using nuclear weapons. Sitting idly by while a crazed dictator threatens the world sets a dangerous precedent for other tyrants.

As Mr Clinton has admitted, the disarmament of Ukraine led to where we are today. It is now the responsibility of the West who thankfully have the nuclear might to protect the world from Russia.

Putin is afraid of one thing: power. That is why it is important for the West to unite against Russia and make it clear – if Russia uses nuclear weapons they face the gravest consequences.

If Putin senses a lack of confidence from the West, he will not hesitate to proceed with his plan A, just as he did in Georgia in 2008 and Crimea in 2014.


Oleksii is the Ukrainian Member of Parliament for Odesa in Ukraine