Total 'clusterf**k': Worries grow that Putin could use tactical NUKE on Ukraine
Vladimir Putin “feels aggrieved” and could use tactical NUKE on Ukraine, according to US intelligence chiefs. At a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday, March 8, the heads of the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and National Security Agency spoke about the Russian leader’s possible actions in the future while CIA Director William Burns said Putin has “been stewing in a combustible combination of grievance and ambition for many years.”
The US intelligence chiefs noted that Ukraine’s refusal to surrender before Russia has reportedly angered Putin and as a result, there is a possibility of him using nuclear weapons on the Eastern European nation. Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, director of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, said that the 69-year-old has “invested in tactical nuclear weapons,” before adding, “I believe that he thinks that gives him an asymmetric advantage.”
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Avril Haines, the director of National Intelligence, mentioned that “we assess Putin feels aggrieved the West does not give him proper deference, and perceives this as a war he cannot afford to lose. But what he might be willing to accept as a victory may change over time.” Haines also said that though Putin had an idea about several international financial sanctions imposed against his country in response to his barbarism, he “did not anticipate the degree to which the United States and its allies and partners would take steps to undermine his capacity to mitigate Western actions.”
As per reports, the US and the UK have announced their withdrawal from importing Russian oil. BP and Shell have also decided the same. Along with them, other companies that reportedly have decided not to do business with Russia are Starbucks, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola. The list also includes high-end brands, like Chanel, Prada, and Louis Vuitton; tech firms such as TikTok, Facebook, Apple, and Airbnb; and banks including HSBC.
The director of National Intelligence said that the Russian president miscalculated “the pullback from Russia initiated by non-state actors in the private sectors.” But stated that the US intelligence community’s assumption is that Putin “is unlikely to be deterred … and instead may escalate — essentially doubling down.” He also “probably still remains confident that Russia can militarily defeat Ukraine,” she noted.
Haines added that it’s not clear if Putin will go ahead with a “maximalist plan to capture all or most of Ukraine” but said that “he would likely encounter ‘a persistent and significant insurgency’ by Ukrainians if he tried to impose his own leaders on the country,” as reported by The Daily Mail. She also concluded that Russia's attack on Ukraine has led to “a shock to the geopolitical order with implications for the future that we are only beginning to understand, but are sure to be consequential.”
And the CIA Director believes that the war launched against Ukraine by Russia is a matter of “deep personal conviction” for the former KGB officer. Burns added, “I think Putin is angry and frustrated right now. He's likely to double down and try to grind down the Ukrainian military with no regard for civilian casualties.”