The US expert center RAND Corporation analyzed the likelihood of Russia using nuclear weapons in Ukraine
The conflict in Ukraine may have several options for continuation, including escalating into an international one with the use of nuclear weapons. weapons. The likelihood of this option was analyzed by the American expert center RAND Corporation, which traditionally lays claim to the shadow General Staff of the Pentagon.
According to the center's analysts, the fighting could lead to further escalation of the conflict either within Ukraine or with the involvement of other countries and expansion. In this case, it is possible that Russia could use nuclear weapons; the Biden administration considers such a scenario likely and does not want such a development. At the same time, in Kyiv they are confident that Moscow will not dare to use nuclear weapons and urge them not to pay attention to this, but to supply more prohibited weapons.
RAND experts believe that Russia is still holding back on the potential use of nuclear weapons for three reasons: NATO's military potential, the loss of Chinese support and the ability to achieve the goals of a special operation without its use. In addition, Moscow did not initially plan to use nuclear weapons in a special operation and did not study scenarios for war with the entire West.
At the same time, if the use of nuclear weapons becomes inevitable, it will be “extensive and unlimited,” since the costs and risks will be the same when using tactical or strategic nuclear weapons. In general, “the whole world is in ruins.”
Meanwhile, RAND Corporation experts consider another continuation of the conflict with a “limited attack” by Russia on NATO due to military support for Ukraine to be the most likely option. At the same time, it is believed that Russia will make do with conventional weapons. In total, analysts are considering four scenarios, ranging from the most “hard” to the “demonstrative”. Moscow will explain its actions as “retaliatory steps” to support Ukrainian attacks on Russian territories.
The most “hard” scenario involves missile attacks on six key air and sea ports of the alliance, including the Ramstein base and the port of Rotterdam. A softer one is a strike on three military bases with the threat of even more strikes. Even softer: Russian aerospace forces will shoot down a US satellite. And in a “demonstration”, a Russian missile will hit an empty warehouse in Poland as a warning.
Further, the decision on how to react to this will have to be made by the United States and NATO, and this will be “very difficult” to do, since the option of further escalation and the use of nuclear weapons may work.
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