With Putin’s mouthpieces across a range of media networks continually making threats of nuclear strikes on western allies, the notion a global war could break out has been discussed by experts. Now, one defence analyst and consultant specialising in land warfare has taken to social media to urge parties to stand up against Putin, and question how powerful the “rogue” leader would be without nuclear weapons.
Writing on Twitter, Nicholas Drummond said: “What if Putin didn’t possess nuclear weapons?
“NATO would have already deployed forces to kick his forces out of Ukraine and completely degrade any further Russian capacity to wage war.
“Unfortunately, he does have WMD, which he thinks gives him the freedom to do whatever he wants.”
Russia currently holds the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, with well over 4,000 warheads.
Over 1,500 of these are mounted onto ballistic missiles and heavy bombers.
Moscow also has around 1,000 “strategic” warheads – nuclear weapons that can be used on a smaller scale – as well as nearly 2,000 non-strategic weapons.
Ukraine for its part inherited a host of nuclear weapons during the fall of the Soviet Union, but de-nuclearised under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
Mr Drummond also spoke of how the UK is now essentially embroiled in the Ukraine war.
He continued on Twitter: “As we ramp up efforts to help Ukraine, we have been drawn into a proxy war, which may inevitably become a more direct confrontation.
“While we’re trying to avoid World War 3, we seem to be powerless to plan or implement an end game that achieves a successful resolution.”
However, Mr Drummond argues Putin’s constant threat of nuclear war has had the opposite effect, suggesting Moscow’s tactics have both united, and grown NATO as demonstrated by the application for membership by Sweden and Finland.
Much as Putin’s plan to invade Ukraine and have the situation under control in days has backfired, so too have the plans to apply punitive measures against Russia by the West.
Although an early knee-jerk reaction saw the ruble tumble, it soon recovered and the Russian economy appears to have stabilised.
Mr Drummond argues the impact of sanctions may have little effect on a resilient Russia, used to during long-term hardship as indoctrinated into the very roots of Russian history from the Soviet Union era.
Urging the world to tackle the problem before it becomes too late, Mr Drummond ended by saying: “Whether Putin succeeds in Ukraine or not, what would we do if he invaded another NATO or non-NATO nation?
“At what point do we act, and what do we do?
“At the moment we are kicking the can down the road when sooner or later we will have to address this problem head-on.”