US intelligence is saying that Russia will not start a nuclear war soon. 

After a year of protracted warfare in Ukraine, US intelligence and policy analysts are increasingly confident that they have identified President Vladimir Putin’s boundaries concerning nuclear weapons. Although worries remain about Russia’s possible usage of nukes, these fears have eased somewhat recently as diplomatic relations move back towards more level ground.

According to a New York Times report, US officials cite several factors explaining why: a more stable battlefield, China’s warnings against using nuclear weapons, improved communications between Moscow and Washington, and an expanded role for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Ukraine have all contributed to some degree of stability.

The report also cited a senior US official saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have realized that the threats he once saw as leverage were now backfiring.

Putin’s Nuclear Threats: Rhetoric or the Real Deal? 

Last February, the Russian president spoke with his defense officials in a televised meeting, signaling a directive that met with international condemnation from Western powers.  

Top officials in leading NATO countries have allowed themselves to make aggressive comments about our country. Therefore I hereby order the Minister of Defense and the chief of the General Staff to place the Russian Army Deterrence Force on combat alert,” Putin said in a televised meeting with top Russian defense officials on Sunday.

However,  White House press secretary (at the time) Jen Psaki belittled Putin’s decision to place Russia’s deterrence forces, including nuclear weapons, on high alert, saying that the official order is just part of a larger picture of unprovoked escalation and “manufactured threats” from the Kremlin.