Since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine last month, he has repeatedly raised the specter of nuclear war to deter the U.S. and the NATO from getting involved in the conflict. But as Russian’s army has faced fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces strengthened by large infusions of Western weaponry, concerns have grown that Russia could consider using a so-called tactical nuclear weapon to gain the upper hand on the battlefield.
The first use of an atomic weapon since the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II would likely cause major damage and radioactive contamination to any Ukrainian city hit—and perhaps beyond, depending on wind and other factors. It would also confront Washington and Europe with a major security test.
Peter Sellers, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb by Stanley Kubrick, 1964
bbc.com, Gordon Corera, 26.04.2022
nytimes.com, David E. Sanger and Julian E. Barnes, 14.04.2022
wsj.com, Thomas Grove, 27.03.2022