Putin’s General Warns of Nuclear War Possibility

A high-ranking Russian military officer has cautioned that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could escalate into a full-scale war in Europe, with an increasing likelihood of Russia being drawn into new military confrontations. Colonel-General Vladimir Zarudnitsky, head of the Russian army’s Military Academy of the General Staff, made these remarks in an article for the defense ministry publication “Military Thought,” as reported by the state news agency RIA on Thursday.

Zarudnitsky stated that the possibility of the Ukraine conflict expanding from “proxy forces” used for military confrontation with Russia to a large-scale European war “cannot be ruled out.” He attributed the primary source of military threats to Russia to the “anti-Russian policy of the United States and its allies,” accusing them of waging a new type of hybrid warfare aimed at weakening Russia, limiting its sovereignty, and destroying its territorial integrity.

The colonel’s comments come amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West, with the war in Ukraine triggering the most severe crisis in their relations since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Western involvement in Ukraine could lead to a nuclear war.

Putin has characterized his decision to deploy tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine in February 2022 as a special military operation necessary to secure Russia’s security against an increasingly hostile U.S.-backed Ukrainian leadership. In contrast, Kyiv maintains that it is defending itself against an imperial-style war of conquest aimed at erasing its national identity.

Zarudnitsky’s remarks coincide with the West’s efforts to bolster Ukraine with additional arms and financing following Kyiv’s unsuccessful counteroffensive last summer and Russia’s regaining of the initiative on the battlefield. The colonel advocated for several changes in Russia’s military and security organization, including a greater emphasis on relying on friendly countries to ensure Russia’s security and consolidating Russian society around its defense needs.


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