Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky said that NATO must use preemptive “strikes” against Russia to prevent their use of nuclear weapons.
Speaking to Australia’s Lowy Institute via a live video link on Thursday morning , Zelensky called on the international community to “show strength” against Russia, and called on them put an end to “the aggressor’s ability to escalate.”
Michael Fullilove, the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute, asked Zelensky about the problem of “nuclear blackmail” from Russia. “Mr Putin told us the other day that he’s not bluffing,” Fullilove noted. “Do you believe that the likelihood of the use of Russian nuclear weapons has risen, and what more do you want NATO to do to deter Russia from using nuclear weapons?”
In response, according to translations from two different outlets, Zelensky said that NATO should “eliminate” the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons on Ukraine, and use “pre-emptive/preventive strikes” so that Russia will “know what will happen to them” if they used nukes: “What should NATO do? Eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons. But what is important, I once again appeal to the international community, as I did before February 24: we need pre-emptive strikes, so that they’ll know what will happen to them if they use nukes, and not the other way around. Don’t wait for Russia’s nuclear strikes, and then say, ‘oh, since you did this, take that from us!’ Reconsider the way you apply pressure. This is what NATO should do: reconsider the order in which it applies pressure [on Russia].” The translation matched a software-aided translation of Zelensky’s full remarks that were reported by a Ukrainian outlet. The reaction from many online was one of shock, with commentators arguing that what Zelensky has said was tantamount to a call to start World War Three, or […]
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