Whatever the result of the Ukraine war, Russia has upturned the fifty-year-old norm of nuclear deterrence.
Russia has approximately 6,000 nuclear warheads — the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. In an interview on Saturday, Medvedev said Russia’s nuclear doctrine did not require an enemy state to use such weapons first.
He said: “We have a special document on nuclear deterrence. This document clearly indicates the grounds on which the Russian Federation is entitled to use nuclear weapons. There are a few of them, let me remind them to you:
“Number one is the situation, when Russia is struck by a nuclear missile. The second case is any use of other nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies.
“The third is an attack on a critical infrastructure that will have paralysed our nuclear deterrent forces.
“And the fourth case is when an act of aggression is committed against Russia and its allies, which jeopardised the existence of the country itself, even without the use of nuclear weapons, that is, with the use of conventional weapons.”Medvedev added that there was a “determination to defend the independence, sovereignty of our country, not to give anyone a reason to doubt even the slightest that we are ready to give a worthy response to any infringement on our country, on its independence”. The Guardian
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