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Zelensky calls on NATO to launch a preemptive strike to prevent Russia from using nuclear weapons
Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky announced that NATO should preemptively strike Russia, in order to “exclude the possibility of use of nuclear weapons by Russia.” He did not specify whether he had in mind a preventative nuclear strike or the use of conventional weapons.
What should NATO do? Exclude the possibility of use of nuclear weapons by Russia. But the most important, I’m again addressing the international community, is how it was before February 24: preventative strikes, so that they know what will happen if they use [a nuke]. And not the opposite, waiting for Russia to strike and then saying “oh, that’s how you are, now you can take it from us.” Reconsider how you apply pressure, the order of application.
Zelensky made the statement via video call to the Australian Lowy Institute, which conducts political and economic research. A recording was published on the president’s Telegram channel.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s press secretary, said that the world should pay attention to Zelensky’s words, especially the US, the UK, and EU. He called the president of Ukraine’s speech “a call to start a world war with unpredictable and monstrous consequences.”
Maria Zakaharova, spokeswoman for the the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that “the West is fueling a nuclear war” and called Zelensky “a monster, at whose hands the world could be destroyed.”
Zelensky’s press secretary, Serhii Nikiforov, clarified that the Ukrainian president did not call for a nuclear strike on the Russian Federation. “The president was speaking about the period before February 24. Preventative measures should have been used at that time to prevent Russia from unleashing a war. I will remind you that the only measures discussed at that time were preventative sanctions,” he said.
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Vladimir Putin has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons, including several times since the invasion of Ukraine. On September 21, while announcing mobilization in Russia, he said that Russia was ready to use “all available means” against a “threat to the territorial integrity of our country and in defense of the people of our nation.”
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