Just about every month since Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin has attempted to rattle his most powerful saber with a threat to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine to scare the Hell out of the world.

In the very early hours of the invasion on February 24th, 2022, Putin issued his first nuclear threat as his tanks had just begun to roll into Ukraine, “Whoever tries to hinder us… should know that Russia’s response…will lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history,”

Since that time, the threats have been issued monthly as reversal after reversal on the battlefield for Putin have made a mockery of the once much-feared Russian army and its generals.

As we’ve reported previously, Putin really isn’t in charge of launching nuclear weapons on his own authority.  It is the military that comes to him and recommends a nuclear strike based on some really particular circumstances, like a NATO army marching on Moscow or a first strike by the US and other NATO countries like France and the UK which have their own nuclear arsenals.

We also tried to imagine a circumstance where Russia gives sovereign recognition to the seized territories of Luhansk and Donbas and at the behest of these puppet governments, Russia uses a nuclear weapon inside these territories to destroy Ukrainian forces. They could deny it was a use of nuclear weapons on Ukraine but on the soil of these two “new” countries. Not that anyone in the world but Russia would go for it.  Today though we see Russia holding sham referendums to incorporate these two regions into the Russian Federation to give them status now as Russian territory.

If he were to order the launch of a nuclear weapon into disputed Ukrainian, his own military might refuse to carry out the order.

These continued nuclear threats could be seen in two ways, first as a bluff meant to undermine Western support for the Ukrainians and second as a way of testing the US and NATO’s resolve to retaliate.

Of the two, the one we should most concern ourselves with is the possibility of Putin trying to determine what the consequences might be if he did employ such a weapon.