Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says Putin’s nuclear threat a ‘bluff’, ‘shows weakness’

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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Russia’s President Vladimir Putin's threat to resort to nuclear weapons a “bluff,” adding that it “shows weakness”.

“I think that the threat of nuclear war is a bluff. It’s one thing to be a murderer. It’s another to commit suicide. Every use of nuclear weapons means the end for all sides, not just for the person using them,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, published on Wednesday.

He added: “Rather, Putin’s threat shows a weakness. You only threaten the use of nuclear weapons when nothing else is working. I am sure that Russia is aware of the catastrophic consequences of any attempt to use nuclear weapons.”

Three days into the Russian invasion, Putin said in a televised address that he had ordered the country’s nuclear “deterrence forces” on high alert.

The next day, Russian nuclear missile forces and Northern and Pacific fleets were placed on enhanced combat duty.

Russia launched its assault on Ukraine on February 24. So far, the conflict has led to dozens of civilian casualties. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Wednesday that it recorded 516 killed and 908 injured, estimating that the real figures are “considerably higher.”

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