Sergey Karaganov, a chairman at the Council of Foreign and Defense Policy and close ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin, put forth the case for Russia using targeted nuclear strikes in Europe to break the will of the West because the U.S. does not want a nuclear clash with Russia.
He made the argument in the Russian language weekly Profile magazine and it was picked up by Western news outlets. Karaganov argued that the use of targeted nuclear strikes could prevent a slide into global thermonuclear war by tapping into the West’s desire of self-preservation. He also said a strike on European countries doesn’t automatically mean a retaliatory strike.
“Only a madman who, above all, hates America will have the guts to strike back in ‘defense’ of Europeans, thus putting his own country at risk and sacrificing conditional Boston for conditional Poznan,” he wrote.
Karaganov wrote that it is becoming clear that a “clash with the West cannot end even if we win a partial or even a crushing victory in Ukraine.”
He wrote, “The feud with the West will continue as it will support a low-grade guerrilla civil war.” (See “UKRAINIAN WAR ESCALATES: KYIV PLANS TO TAKE OVER CRIMEA. BLOWS UP RUSSIAN OIL DEPOT” 2 May 2023, “RAMPING UP WAR, UKRAINIAN ATTACKS RUSSIAN BASE IN CRIMEA” 4 Apr 2023, and “ARROGANT WARMONGERING MILITARY OFFICERS OFFER ADVICE ON HOW TO RETAKE CRIMEA, DESTROY RUSSIA” 7 Mar 2023.)
He wrote that the fear of nuclear annihilation in the West is gone, and that fear needs to be revived.
“Otherwise, humanity is doomed,” he wrote.
He praised Russia’s decision to send nuclear weapons to Belarus but wrote, “Things may also get to the point where we will have to urge our compatriots and all people of goodwill to leave their places of residence near facilities that may become targets for strikes in countries that provide direct support to the puppet regime in Kyiv.”
TREND FORECAST: Karaganov is attempting to call what he sees as the U.S.’s bluff, and his theory—though frightening—is worth considering.
Imagine, for a moment, Russia conducts a tactical nuclear strike outside of Berlin.
Would the U.S. approve nuclear strikes from subs in the Mediterranean or would the Biden administration save the world by negotiating for an end of the conflict? Indeed, the U.S. was not isolated from world affairs after approving the atom bomb strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We’ve been reporting that it has been Putin’s hope to end the war and have some path to normal relations with the West. (See “PUTIN FACES DOMESTIC PRESSURE TO CRUSH UKRAINE IN ALL-OUT WAR” 30 May 2023.)
But there are always wild cards and countries like France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden have shown glimpses of thinking for themselves during this conflict. All bets would be off if Russia fired nukes into Europe and, surely, China would be pulled into the war either militarily or through economy-killing sanctions.