Ukrainian army chief says ‘limited’ nuclear war cannot be ruled out

Ukraine’s military chief of staff warned on Wednesday of a “limited” nuclear war between Russia and the West It cannot be ruled out, a scenario with serious global repercussions.

“There is a direct threat of the use, under certain conditions, of tactical nuclear weapons by the Russian armed forces,” Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhnyi wrote in an article published by Ukrinform, a state-run media outlet. “It is also impossible to exclude the possibility of direct involvement of the world’s leading countries in a ‘limited’ nuclear conflict, in which the possibility of the outbreak of the Third World War is already directly evident.”

Zaluzhnyi also admitted for the first time that Kyiv was behind strikes Deep in the Crimea occupied by Russia in August. Zaloghny wrote that the air bases and munitions depots that were targeted were in areas previously thought to be outside of Ukraine – but were part of its strategy to turn the “center of gravity of the Russian military”.

Crimea attacks signal Ukraine’s latest strategy, official says

With fighting certainly continuing into 2023, Ukraine has continued To make the war “more intense and tangible for the Russians and for other occupied territories, despite the enormous distance of the targets,” Zaloghny wrote.

He called the Crimean strikes a “compelling example” of Kyiv’s calls for allies to send long-range weapons to its superiorly armed soldiers. He said Moscow could strike 20 times farther.

The military commander’s assessment comes as Ukraine’s armed forces claim they have regained control of small areas in counterattacks in the south and east of the country – fighting taking a heavy toll on Ukrainian soldiers. Facing huge losses Against the most advanced Russian weapons and technologies.

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Zalozhny’s warning comes after weeks of international warning about a potential disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear facility, the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine. The plant is in control of Russian authorities, with more than 1,000 Ukrainian workers trying to operate it and connect it to their country’s electricity grid despite repeated bombing.

The United Nations atomic watchdog called on Tuesday to do so safe area There to prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he supported the idea if it meant the withdrawal of Russian forces. Both sides accused the other side of firing rockets and heavy artillery around the factory.

Zaloghny said Russia’s use of the plant as a military base showed its disregard for global nuclear safeguards “even in conventional war”.

What do you know about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine

Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union and NATO Partially triggered by the Russian invasion On February 24. But Washington and its European allies categorically refused to provide any military support to Ukraine that could draw it into a direct confrontation with Russia.

After failing to capture the capital in the first weeks of the war, Russia focused on seizing Ukrainian territory linking the east with the south – from the Donbass region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting since 2014, to the southern Crimea, illegally annexed by Moscow. . same year.

Ukraine recently launched its counterattacks aimed at retaking Kherson, a strategic southern port city, and the Russian-occupied areas along the border in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

anyway Much of central and western Ukraine remains largely unscathed, Zalogny writes that Russian cruise missiles remain a threat and can strike all over the country “with impunity.” “As long as the current situation persists, this war can last for years.”

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