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Putin Could Use Nukes If This Captured Town Is Taken Back By Ukraine, Says Former Russian Opposition Figure

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin would be ready to use nuclear weapons in case Ukraine attempts to recover a key territory, according to an expert, it was reported in July 2022.

What Happened: “Putin will react to attempts to seize Kherson as an existential threat to Russia – as he considers that to be part of Russia already – and would be ready to use nuclear weapons,” said Andrey Piontkovsky, a former member of the Russian Opposition Coordination Council, reported Yahoo News.

Piontkovsky, a self-exiled dissident, quoted Alexei Venediktov, the former editor-in-chief and co-owner of the recently banned Radio station “Echo of Moscow.”

Venediktov was reasoned to be credible by Piontkovsky. “Venediktov couldn’t come up with that on his own – he’s too concerned with his role of a civil society representative,” according to Yahoo News.

Why It Matters: Piontkovsky pointed to a particular example of a target city in the report — the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. 

“These conversations took place, further indicating their despair and madness… [Putin] has nothing left but nukes,” said Piontkovsky. “But even if he annihilates, says, Lviv with a nuclear strike, killing a million people – what that would change in this war?”

Kherson was the first major Ukrainian city to fall to Russians after hostilities began in February 2022, reported The New York Times.

The Russian army has retaken some territory around the southern coastal regions north of Crimea around Kherson, according to a previous report. 

Putin told his generals recently to concentrate on the Donetsk province after capturing Ukraine’s Luhansk region. 

This story was originally published on Jul. 10, 2022.

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