The Russians are eliminating a self-imposed restrain on their use of nuclear weapons, aligning their policy more closely to the U.S.’s. From Gilbert Doctorow at gilbertdoctorow.com:
I returned to Brussels on Sunday after a month of travels in exotic and warm lands south of the equator. The re-entry shock upon arrival in Belgium was a lot greater than the 27 degree Centigrade drop in outdoor air temperature. After a month of only very limited reception of Russian news, due to satellite issues and hotel service issues, last night I switched on Russian state television’s news and talk show “Sixty Minutes” on www.smotrim.ru and got a full blast of the current state of relations with the US, which are very close to Doomsday.
Allow me to share with you the key point, namely the soon to be announced changes to the Russian doctrine on first use of nuclear weapons and their new more precise red lines that have come about from the plans for Russia’s partition and destruction that seem to be aired daily on US television.
As usual, Yevgeny Popov, State Duma member and host of “Sixty Minutes,” put a lot of video segments from Western television up on the screen, including a lengthy statement by Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, former commander of all U.S. forces in Europe from 2014 to 2017, on how the Ukrainians must be given long range precision missiles for them to attack Russian Crimea and also further into the Russian heartland. The interview from which this declaration was made does not yet appear in Google search, but from interviews posted in 2022 it is clear that Hodges is no madman, and his statements must, as Popov said, be taken with utmost seriousness.
The context, of course, for the radical escalation now being discussed in the United States is the expectation of a massive Russian offensive to begin shortly as the anniversary of the Special Military Operation approaches. The imminent defeat of Ukrainian forces has focused minds in Washington.