Nuclear weapons have never done any good to anyone. It has destroyed generations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Even a relatively low-grade nuclear leak in Chernobyl left a permanent scar on the Russian polity. With such a disastrous history, executing a nuclear attack in 2022 is not a wise option for Putin or anyone else. But the West kept going bonkers and it took India to make Putin oblige to no nukes policy.
Things have been tough for Russia
For the last few months, the whole world has been living under the threat of a nuclear disaster. It all started when Ukrainian troops started to gain a strategically important lead over Russia. If that was not enough, the western media went on to broadcast it as some sort of victory over Putin. But it is also true that months of war have drained the Russians of energy. The Putin administration is now down to inducting reserve trainees into the Armed Forces.
At around the same time, he also noticed West’s hyperbole. People in the deep state of the United States had sniffed an opportunity for regime change in Russia. For Putin, being on the back foot for a while was like gold dust for the military-industrial complex of the USA.
Well, the mark of a true champion is when it comes to coming back fighting. Putin retorted back with strong words. He explicitly said that when push comes to shove, he won’t back down and will use all available means to protect Russia and Russians. He also referred to the West’s nuclear blackmail. Putin further added, “Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them.”
Nine days later, Putin came up with one more hint of his inclination towards using nuclear weapons. Announcing the assimilation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia in Russia, Putin said that the US had already set a nuclear precedent by dropping atom bombs on Japan. This time, Putin’s words seemed to be backed by his actions as well.
Few days after Putin talking about Americans dropping atomic bombs on Japanese territories, a train was seen in Central Russia. This train is operated by a Russian nuclear programme. It is linked to the 12th main directorate of the Russian ministry of defence. The observation was treated as Putin’s preparation for nuclear war against the west-backed Ukraine. Fuel to the fire was added by NATO, warning its members about possible Russian testing of the nuclear-capable torpedo drone Poseidon.
Meanwhile, amidst the diplomatic war, Zelenskyy got more frustrated. He formally applied for NATO membership. He was not even ready to talk to Russia. Other stakeholders like Elon Musk also tried to intervene, but they were vehemently rejected. Putin sensed that there was no amicable solution to the problem in the near future. His spy agencies also gave some really damning reports about Ukraine’s preparations to launch an offensive against Russia.
The Putin administration got information that Ukrainians were preparing to use dirty bombs on Russia. A dirty bomb is a type of nuclear weapon that does not kill a vast number of people in a whip. Instead, a dirty bomb is made of radioactive materials combined with conventional explosives. It contaminates the area with radioactive substances, rendering generations of men, women, and children permanently impaired.
Putin quickly responded and asked his Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, to hold a discussion with the concerned parties and gather support for the investigation. Sergei held talks with countries such as the U.S. and other NATO members to alert them against using such dirty tactics. Ukraine, on the other hand, claimed that Russia would do it on its own territory in order to win a narrative war with it. Seeing no conclusion in sight, the IAEA has been designated to enquire into Russia’s allegations against Ukraine.
However, the investigation does not mean that Russia would not put together its arsenal for eventuality. It was preparing to do it, and in order to gain diplomatic support for its possible nuclear operations, the Putin administration was courting India. His Defence Minister called Rajnath Singh, to conjure up support for Russia. The call was made to talk about the dirty bomb tactic and other developments in Ukraine.
🇷🇺☎️🇮🇳 On October 26, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, had a telephone conversation w/ Defence Minister of #India Rajnath Singh. They discussed situation in #Ukraine. Sergei Shoigu conveyed his concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a ‘dirty bomb’. pic.twitter.com/QIWIoYnKzU
In his response, Singh reiterated India’s stand on the war. He said that dialogue and diplomacy are the ways to go forward. Rajnath Singh also took the opportunity to subtly tell Russia that it would not support it in case they decide to use nuclear weapons. Rajnath Singh said, “the nuclear option should not be resorted to by any side as the prospect of the usage of nuclear or radiological weapons goes against the basic tenets of humanity” ….
Had a telephonic conversation with the Defence Minister of Russia, Mr Sergei Shoigu today. We discussed bilateral defence cooperation as well as the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.
The use of the phrase “any side” rather than “Ukraine” in Singh’s statement made it clear that India was asking both Russia and Ukraine to not go nuclear. It worked like magic. Within no time, Russia declared that it had no plans to nuke Ukraine. Putin himself took on the responsibility of assuring the world about it. The man who has been ultra-aggressive about the use of nuclear weapons in the last few weeks said, “We see no need for that. There is no point in that, neither political nor military. ”
The dawning realisation came only after India said so. Putin has seen how India has abstained from every opportunity to condemn Russia. He knows that India is not operating in bad faith. That is why India’s advice is taken in a positive light by Russian policymakers. It makes strategic sense as well, since India is going to be a key driver of demand for Russian energy stocks in the upcoming decades. It just does not make sense to lose such a friend over differences in the use of nukes.
No acrimony whatsoever
Now, Putin’s obliging to India’s demand would have been seen as India siding with the Ukraine lobby. The Western media has been quite proactive in running this propaganda. Whenever India voted against Russia on non-substantive issues, the liberal media went gaga over it. They claimed that India was going against Russia. We @TFI have time and again debunked such claims with substantive evidence.
Thankfully, we did not have to do it this time. The onus of puncturing the fake narrative was taken on by President Putin himself. One would expect that if India did not side with their alleged nuclear plans, Russia would be angry with India. More specifically, President Putin would be angry over PM Modi.
It is simply not the case. President Putin has hailed PM Modi as a true patriot. In his annual address to the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think tank, the Russian President was all praise for PM Modi’s independent foreign policy. He also exalted PM Modi’s Make-in-India initiative, terming it both an economically and ethically wise move.
Quote, “A lot has been done under the leadership of PM Modi. He is a patriot of his country. His idea of ‘Make in India’ matters both economic wise and in ethics. Future belongs to India, it can be proud of the fact that it’s the largest democracy in the world,”
This is classic statecraft going on here. Like a true statesman, President Putin took suggestion of India as an independent stand and not an anti-Russian move. That is what transpires when two leaders have their respective national interests in mind and interact for many years. Self-interest is the common bond. It just makes transparency a lot easier. Transparency is the key to any kind of long-term relationship. The India-China bond is suffering due to a lack of it. The India-Russia bond would not.
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