Russia unlikely to use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine, says its ambassador to UK
Sun, 29 May 2022, 6:04 am·2-min read
Russia is unlikely to use tactical nuclear weapons in the conflict with Ukraine, its country ambassador to the UK has said.
Andrei Kelin said there is a “very strict provision” on the use of such weapons and that Russia will continue to treat the war as a “limited conventional operation”.
He told the BBC: “Tactical nuclear weapons in accordance with the Russian military doctrine is not used in conflicts like that at all.”
Asked about the likelihood of nukes being used, he said: “I don’t think so. We have a very strict provision on the issues of the use of tactical nuclear weapons and it is mainly when the existence of the state is endangered. It has nothing to do with the current operation…
“We will deal with it with conventional operation, limited conventional operation. Perhaps you have noticed that we do not increase the number of our forces over there. We believe it is sufficient to deal with the situation.”
Russia’s ambassador to the UK shared the details in a rare interview.
Tactical nuclear weapons are used at shorter distances as opposed to “strategic” nukes which can be used over a much longer distance.
Analysts believe Russia has around 2,000 tactical nukes – including smaller bombs and missiles – at its disposal, according to the BBC.
Previously, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he does not think Putin will use nuclear weapons in his pursuit of Ukraine.
“We should be worried that a state like Russia believes that the rules don’t apply to them, whether that is invading Ukraine or using nerve agent in Salisbury, but fundamentally a deterrent is what it is, a deterrent,” Wallace told Times Radio.
“As much as he might be ambitious for Ukraine, I don’t think he wants to go into that space.”