Zelensky aide says Putin ‘not ready’ to use nuclear weapons

Vladimir Putin says threat of nuclear weapons is ‘growing’

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Western countries should ignore Russian nuclear threats an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. Speaking to The Times Mykhailo Podolyak said that the Russian political elite realised that any use of nuclear weapons would lead to “inevitable death” for most of them.

He said: “Putin is not ready to press the red button.

“Any use of nuclear weapons, even tactical ones, will lead to the inevitable death of most of the Russian political elite. They understand this very well.”

Mr Podolyak added that Moscow had received a “clear warning” from other nuclear powers that it would face “immediate retribution” should it launch a nuclear attack on Ukraine or its allies.

However he did not say which countries had issued the warning.

It comes after the speaker of the Russian Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin warned that the use of Western weapons against Russian forces could lead to a “terrible war”.

“Foreign politicians making such decisions need to understand that this could end in a global tragedy that will destroy their countries,” he said last week.

The United States, the UK and Germany are among the countries who have agreed to send tanks to Ukraine.

Kyiv is now requesting for Western fighter jets and long range missiles so far without success.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev now deputy head of the national security council has said that Moscow could launch a nuclear strike in the event of a battlefield defeat in Ukraine.

However Mr Podolyak has dismissed such threats as an attempt to blackmail the West.

He said: “The Russian political elite wants to frighten other countries but at the same time they want to have a guaranteed life of luxury.

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“I would recommend paying less attention to the comments of people like Volodin and Medvedev.

“Their aim is to sow panic in Europe.”

He also insisted that the war could only end with the expulsion of Russian troops from all of Ukraine’s territory including Crimea annexed by Russia in 2014.

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