Putin’s ambassador to UK warns Russia will use nukes if ‘our existence is threatened’ as tensions rage over Ukraine
VLADIMIR Putin's ambassador to the UK has warned Russia will use nuclear weapons "if our existence is threatened" as tensions rage with the West over Ukraine.
Andrei Kelin said Moscow was ready to turn Ukraine into nuclear waste if it felt threatened by losses on the battlefield.
Speaking with the BBC, Mad Vlad's ambassador, who refused to acknowledge the conflict as a war and brow-beat Britain's support for Kyiv, said Moscow could be preparing to deploy nuclear weapons.
"Do you believe there could be the use of a tactical nuclear weapon in the war in Ukraine?", the BBC's Clive Myrie asked during their 30-minute face-to-face interview.
"Tactical nuclear weapons in accordance with the Russian military doctrine is not used in conflicts like that, at all," the ambassador replied.
Myrie shot back: "So you do not believe that will happen? Can you categorically say it will not happen?"
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In a startling admission, Kelin said: "We have a very strict provision on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and it is mainly when the existence of the state is in danger."
Though he denied the war warranted the use of world-ending nukes, the ambassador's comments soon ran into hot water when pushed by Myrie.
"But wasn't that the reasoning for going into Ukraine in the first place? That… the suggestion was that Ukraine was building up its forces to attack in the East?" Myrie asked.
A calm but irate Kelin quickly responded: "Yes, and we'll deal with it with conventional operation, limited conventional operation."
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The fractious onscreen encounter came moments after Kelin dismissed claims by Kremlin propagandists that Russia was ready to turn Britain into a "radioactive desert".
Myrie said: "Dmitry Kiselyov, who runs one of the country's biggest television station said on air recently that 'one Russian nuclear missile could plunge Britain into the depths of the sea and turn whatever may be left of them into a radioactive desert.'"
"I don't believe that," Kelin angrily shot back before belittling Myrie.
"Dmitry Kiselyov is a journalist. He is like you, he is trying to find something juicy and to put it on the television and make a loud statement, and he's done it, just like you, trying to instigate me."
The interview then took another bizarre turn when Kelin tried to suggest Putin's troops never had the intention of ransacking Kyiv at the beginning of the conflict before being humiliated into a retreat eastward.
Instead, the deranged diplomat suggested they were simply there to conduct a pincer manoeuvre on Ukrainian troops in the East and that the Kremlin had no intention of taking Kyiv.
He also remarked that there was "no evidence" of war crimes being committed by Russian troops and rebuked proof Myrie provided during their tense discussion.
It comes as Ukrainian officials say they believe more than 100,000 cases of war crimes have been committed by Russian forces.
Ukraine’s chief prosecutor Iryna Venediktova says her team is already investigating nearly 14,000 cases.
But the true number committed by Vladimir Putin’s troops is expected to top 100,000 based on estimations from what has come to light in the first three months of the bloody conflict, says a source in her office.
Prosecutors there are already building war crimes cases but expect the process to last months owing to the scale of the horrors that are being uncovered already.
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It comes as Russia is on the verge of taking Severodonetsk in the east but is also piling more pressure on the country's second city of Kharkiv with extra attacks.
The nation has already lost 30,000 troops, 207 planes and 174 helicopters in the war, according to Ukrainian officials, and risks losing thousands more at it tries to accomplish its military objecting of capturing the Donbas.
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