Read the excerpt from the press conference carefully. Putin doesn’t like the U.S.’s preventative strike doctrine, but he appears to be hinting that Russia may have to adopt it. That would raise significantly the chances of nuclear war. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Friday that Russia is considering changing its nuclear doctrine to allow for preventive – not just retaliatory – use of nuclear weapons. Such a change would align Russia’s nuclear posture with Washington’s own strategic doctrine and, at one stroke, make the world far more dangerous.
Putin’s highly unusual remarks leave no doubt that Russia views the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine as the kind of existential threat that President John Kennedy perceived, when Moscow installed nuclear missiles in Cuba. Those missiles were capable of hitting, within minutes, Washington and the Strategic Air Command in Omaha.
For readers who have missed this, US missile capsules already emplaced in Romania and Poland – ostensibly for “ABMs” – can accommodate overnight what Russia calls “offensive strike missiles” – with even shorter launch-to-target time – than those Kennedy strong-armed Khrushchev to remove from Cuba, under threat of nuclear war.
Did Biden Renege on a Promise?
Another largely unreported factoid: When Presidents Biden and Putin held a conversation on Dec. 30, 2021, the Kremlin readout stated: “Joseph Biden emphasized … that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike missiles in Ukraine.” At once, Senior Putin adviser, Yuri Ushakov, pointed out approvingly that this had been one of Moscow’s chief goals in proposing security guarantees for the U.S. and NATO to consider. Six weeks later, after a “follow-up” Putin-Biden call (on Feb. 12, 2022), Ushakov lamented that Biden did not address … nondeployment of strike weapons systems on Ukrainian territory. Ushakov: “We received no meaningful response.”