White House has been secretly warning Putin of the ‘grave consequences’ of using nuclear weapons

White House has been secretly warning Putin of the ‘grave consequences’ of using nuclear weapons in back channels

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The Biden Administration has been sending private messages to Moscow about the ‘grave consequences’ of using nuclear weapons – even as Russia has made repeated nuclear threats amid battlefield losses in Ukraine.

The State Department has been communicating the U.S. posture to Moscow ‘consistently’ over a period of months, the Washington Post reported. 

It was not clear whether any new warnings had gone out since Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s speech to the nation announcing a nationwide mobilization of 300,000 people to join its war in Ukraine, which the Kremlin still labels a ‘special military operation.’

U.S. analysts have said many of those forces, drawn from former Russian military and other sources, have said many of those troops will end up being cannon fodder on the front lines. 

The U.S. policy is to generally avoid brandishing the nuclear threat, something Putin and Russia have done repeatedly. Both nations have thousands of nuclear warheads. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to his nation Wednesday about a military mobilization. He said Russia would use 'all weapons systems available' to protect its 'territorial integrity.' U.S. officials have been warning Russia bout the grave consequences of using nuclear weapons over a period of months

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to his nation Wednesday about a military mobilization. He said Russia would use ‘all weapons systems available’ to protect its ‘territorial integrity.’ U.S. officials have been warning Russia bout the grave consequences of using nuclear weapons over a period of months

Putin in his speech said Russia would use ‘all weapons systems available’ to protect its ‘territorial integrity’ and its people, as well as its ‘territorial integrity’ and  ‘independence and freedom.’

What has analysts particularly concerned are sham referendums Russia is rushing in four provinces in Ukraine’s east. Once those measures pass, Russia is likely to declare the territory part of Russia – meaning it could claim justification for using nuclear weapons if Ukraine attacks to regain its territory.

Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian prime minister who serves as deputy chairman of its Security Council, wrote on Telegram Thursday that this territory will be ‘accepted into Russia. He said Russia ‘any Russian weapon, including strategic nuclear ones and those using new principles,’ to defend territory it annexes from Ukraine.

That was a likely reference to Russia’s latest hypersonic missiles that travel many multiples of the speed of sound. 

President Joe Biden, who spoke at the UN this week, condemned Russia for its invasion and 'overt' nuclear threats. 'A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,' he said

President Joe Biden, who spoke at the UN this week, condemned Russia for its invasion and ‘overt’ nuclear threats. ‘A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,’ he said

The State Department has issued the warnings to Russia, although it was not immediately clear at what level

The State Department has issued the warnings to Russia, although it was not immediately clear at what level

Putin's mobilization comes after a series of gains by Ukrainian forces (pictured on the road in the freed territory of the Kharkiv region)

Putin’s mobilization comes after a series of gains by Ukrainian forces (pictured on the road in the freed territory of the Kharkiv region)

Multiple videos appear to show young Russian men drinking heavily as they are shipped off to war, suggesting that morale problems in the military are unlikely to improve as they arrive on the frontlines

Multiple videos appear to show young Russian men drinking heavily as they are shipped off to war, suggesting that morale problems in the military are unlikely to improve as they arrive on the frontlines

Russian conscripts drinking
Russian conscripts drinking

A man with a Z war symbol on his chest toasts with his fellow conscripts as they load on to a bus somewhere in Russia, before shipping out to fight against Ukraine

President Joe Biden, who spoke at the UN this week, condemned Russia for its invasion and ‘overt’ nuclear threats. ‘A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,’ he said

The nuclear threat comes as western analysts have been downplaying the impact of Putin’s massive military mobilization, which comes after Russia failed to seize Ukraine with its military forces of about 150,000.

There are indications many of these conscripts don’t want to fight, will lack training on cohesion – deficits that have also been on display of Russia’s existing force.

Russian conscripts have been filmed drinking and fighting among themselves on their way to the frontlines, in scenes that could soon repeat themselves on the battlefields of Ukraine.

Dozens of videos began surfacing showing men swilling from cups of drink before boarding buses heading west, or else stumbling and fighting at recruitment offices and on board planes.

Footage is hard to conclusively verify, but it tallies with reports of low morale and drunkenness among Russian recruits and speaks to wider problems faced by Putin’s military – poor command, discipline and organization – that have plagued its war effort so far. It appears those issues are unlikely to get better as the war wears on.

Meanwhile reports from within Russia itself suggested men were rushing to marry single mothers or register as elderly carers in a desperate bid to dodge the draft by having dependents. However, their hopes will likely prove in vain as the only exceptions from Putin’s sweeping laws are age, illness, or imprisonment.

It comes after border crossing points clogged with cars and plane tickets to visa-free nations sold out within hours. Some Russians reported buying tickets to destinations they didn’t know existed in order to get away. Others used scooters to skip car queues and cross into the likes of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Georgia

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