Vladimir Putin has again threatened to use nuclear weapons to protect Russia and its people. In his comments on Friday, he extended that nuclear deterrence over the 15% of Ukraine’s territory that Russia annexed after the bogus referendums that ended on Wednesday. That even includes some land already liberated by the Ukrainian army. Mr. Putin’s threats constitute an offensive use of nuclear weapons, an imperial expansion through nuclear threats. He must be stopped, but how?
It is tempting for the United States to take a leadership role. These are not the ramblings of a weakened dictator; Mr. Putin has an idea of how to use nuclear weapons to achieve his purpose. The Biden administration’s response to these grave threats has been swift. national security adviser jake sullivan he said on Sunday that the United States would “respond decisively” to a Russian nuclear attack on Ukraine, with “catastrophic consequences for Russia.”