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"Putinís Got Nothing But Nuclear Weapons" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 May 2022 8:21 a.m. PST

Russian television tells us that Vladimir Putin would rather go nuclear than accept defeat in Ukraine. President Biden has admonished that "idle comments about the use of nuclear weapons" are "irresponsible." Opinion polls on both sides show widespread concern about a nuclear exchange. But Putin only talks about nuclear war because he has nothing else to say…

Military: link

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2022 9:31 a.m. PST

First, there's not reason to believe anything on Russian TV. They say what they think Putin wants them to say. The honest people all quit last month. But they may not have the message right, and his message might not be the truth even about what he's thinking.

Second, do the nukes still work? The US spends $37 USDB per year maintaining 5,550 nuclear weapons. Russia spends $8 USDB maintaining 6,257. China spends $10 USDB on probably 300 weapons, but they are rapidly expanding, reportedly aiming for 1,000 by 2030. The US and Russia keep about 900 each on alert, ready to fire, while all the others need to be brought out of storage. The UK spends $6.2 USDB to maintain 225, I think those are all in subs. Even if you assume none of the Russian money is lost to corruption (hah!), they simply are not spending nearly enough to keep those weapons operational. Obviously, it would be beyond stupid to ignore the possibility that Russia could launch a nuclear strike. But realistically, I bet they know they have very limited capability and the retaliation would not be limited.

Third, and we can't have any data here this is only speculation, if Putin ordered a nuclear strike would the order be obeyed? Maybe he'd rather die than face defeat, but there are people between him and "the button" who might decide that the cost to Russia would be more painful than the cost to Putin's ego. Again, not something we can count on, but I bet Putin and his inner circle are asking that question, and they would not want to issue an order for a nuclear attack that would not be obeyed. That would certainly lead to a coup.

So it's disconcerting when Putin talks crazy, but I'm not worried. I guess if we're all consumed by a nuclear fireball tomorrow I sure will look silly!

dapeters12 May 2022 11:43 a.m. PST

Putin like to talk crazy, in hopes of terrifying foes, the problem is he will eventually scar his own "trusted" people into action, that he will not like.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP12 May 2022 2:16 p.m. PST


Well stated, Sir!

When the war began, I made many of the same points about what Putin might do when it was already clear that even if he could defeat the Ukrainian Army, he would never be able to control the country.

But I would disagree with you on one point, and maybe a critical one. Yes, the degree of corruption and self-aggrandizement at all levels is at the core of the absolute failure of the Russian Army to do more than just kill people. But this was clearly not appreciated by anyone before the Chinese-rubber-tires met the road. They blundered in, and are blundering out.

The actual state of reliability of their nuclear arsenal is absolutely uncertain, but why might we even hope that anyone in that corner of responsibility knows how bad it may actually be? Clearly, the army, navy, and air force are inadequate, but they didn't (wouldn't) see it, so why would anyone see the dangers in their own nukes?

God Forbid, but even if some absolute Bleeped texthead pushes an actual button, how many of their missiles will either just sit there--leaking junk ready to explode in the silos--or just detonate right there? No matter what percentage might not launch, ANY number that fly is too many, obviously.

Would it not be the final (and I do mean "FINAL") irony that the whole show ends as it does in "Dr. Strangelove," with warheads going off all over Russia, still putting radiation and soot into the atmosphere?

The only hope left if it goes so far as Putin ordering "Launch!," is that SOMEONE down the chain from him to the putz with his thumb over a button will realize that destroying Russia and/or the world is not worth the ego of one KGB flunky. Disobeying such an order is certainly the very act that gets one immediately shot--possibly even by the Ivan next to you.

Disobeying such an order is tantamount to "Striking the King," and we all know that is something you NEVER do. To disobey, you must in fact "kill the King." It's melodramatic, and riskier than hell, but might be the only reed we have to cling to if Putin finally goes completely mad.

Still, unlike Hitler, Putin has never struck me as suicidal from the start. He may talk of a world which he cannot imagine without a Russia, and better to die now than later, but actually choosing suicide is a sobering moment for anyone who enjoys the good and secure life he has.

But crazy is as crazy does, and self delusion is the most powerful drug in the world.

We are in a moment the world has never quite seen before, meaning anything is possible.



Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2022 2:41 p.m. PST

Back in the 1960s their warheads were expected to be about 50% – 60% reliable.

Later in the Cold War, it is believed things improved with testing and tech, up to about 80% – 90%.

It is interesting to ponder what their reliability rate is now, especially given how poorly the Russian troops have performed in Ukraine. On the flipside though, supposedly they are modernizing their nuclear forces, while many in the West still are not.

My guess is their reliability is little better than the percentages in the 1960s.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2022 2:43 p.m. PST

Now moving beyond reasoned opinions into the land of irresponsible guessing…

I bet if the people who launch the missiles would not do it, Putin and his inner circle will have a sense of this and not give the order.

If the order is given and the missile guys don't want their families to die, they will share the order with the entire world, initiating a coup one way or the other. Probably Putin loses, but who knows. In any case, they will have made the order public to justify their actions and the whole world will know Putin (and his circle) are crazy.

If the button is pushed some missiles won't launch because their internal safety checks won't allow it. A few will burn or blow up in the silos. The nuclear material from all of these should be contained. Some will launch but end up hundreds and hundred of miles from their targets. Hopefully they bury themselves in the ocean. Many won't explode. But the biggest problem will be those that do explode but not in the nuclear way. If the shaped charges around the core don't go off right, all you have is a modest-sized bomb with some nuclear material inside. This will be scattered far and wide and make all kinds of people sick.

So even if those weapons are not operational it's best they are left alone.

Father of Cats12 May 2022 4:02 p.m. PST

What if he believes that he can call a bluff? What if he nukes a staging area in Poland or in a non-NATO country? Would the US, UK, and France each fire a missile at one Russian target in order to show NATO solidarity? Would they try some other approach for fear of unleashing WWIII? No one thought that an incident in Serbia would end in WWI. Putin may believe that the NATO allies are not willing to risk WWIII over Ukraine.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2022 6:13 p.m. PST

I doubt Putin will go nuclear. I think he will tidy up the lines in southern Ukraine and ask for a cease fire for the children. Then he will have a vote and 95% will vote to join Russia. Then he will take over Donbas and all the territory between there and along the cost to Moldova. I think that was his main goal all along, the other attacks in the north were just to distract from his real goal and if they worked so much the better.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2022 7:01 p.m. PST

After this blood bath I doubt 95% of Southern Ukrainian would vote to join Russia in any open and free election.

Pendekar12 May 2022 7:22 p.m. PST

You are right.. it won't be 95%.

The official result from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was a 97 percent vote for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83 percent voter turnout, and within the local government of Sevastopol there was also a 97 percent vote for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 89 percent voter turnout.

It will be 97%.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) released an audio recording on 5 May that they said was a phone call between a Donetsk separatist leader named Dima Boitsov, and the leader of the far-right paramilitary Russian National Unity group Alexander Barkashov. In the recording, Boitsov said he wanted to postpone the referendum due to the DPR's inability to control all of Donetsk Oblast. Barkashov said that he had communicated with Putin, and insisted Boitsov hold the referendum regardless of the separatist leader's concerns. He suggested that Boitsov tabulate the results as 89% in favour of autonomy.[26] [27] Separatists stated that the recording was fake.[28] However, the 89% mentioned in the phone call exactly match the result of the referendum, which took place on May 11, 2014, i.e. several days after the recording had been published.

Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported that voters were able to vote as many times as they wanted.[29] Internal Affairs ministry officials branded the vote a farce, and said that just over 32 percent of registered voters in Donetsk Oblast participated in the vote.[30]

Oh.. ok.. maybe it will be 89%.
(If there is a leaked recording stating that the vote will be fixed at a certain percent, shouldn't they change their plans to make it 88% or something? Maybe? Nah.. just proceed as instructed I suppose.)

Cuprum2 Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2022 11:30 p.m. PST

Perhaps all these people, by force attached to Russia, immediately turned their weapons against the Russians, as soon as they could? And it's not they who have been stubbornly "gnawing through" the Ukrainian defenses in the Donbas for the third month already? Is it not they who have practically destroyed the Nazis in Mariupol?

Pendekar13 May 2022 2:23 a.m. PST

Perhaps all these people, by force attached to Russia are not soldiers. And perhaps many of them don't care who is their ruler, they just want peace.

Without Russian interference for the past 8 years invading another's land this situation would not be here.

This man was largely involved in the instigation of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

He doesn't seem happy about the current status of the war – special operation.
YouTube link


Legion 413 May 2022 8:59 a.m. PST

Well Putin plays the "I've nuke/WMD card" often. E.g. Russia's foreign minister just warned Finland & Sweden not to join NATO or there will be repercussions, etc.

So does that mean nukes ?

Putin certainly does not have the BTGs to invade Finland, etc.

However, it appears they will join NATO. And I saw the Finn Ambassador say to Putin he needs to look in the mirror. If you are going to blame anyone for them joining NATO.

So again, what will Putin do as repercussions ? Or are those threats just more saber rattling for his own people's consumption ?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 10:09 a.m. PST

Good for the Finnish ambassador, that's exactly what is happening. The Finn are fighters like the Ukrainians, they have dealt with this before in the Winter War.

dapeters13 May 2022 11:34 a.m. PST

Using nukes in Ukraine and Finland would kind of be like, using Mustard gas against an home invasion.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP13 May 2022 12:03 p.m. PST

There is a fellow on this thread who, if he was watching the last 20 minutes of Little Big Horn, would say, "See, Custer's got 'em just where he wants 'em!"


Legion 413 May 2022 4:29 p.m. PST

Using nukes in Ukraine and Finland would kind of be like, using Mustard gas against an home invasion.
That is why I think Putin et al are saber rattling for his population.

"See, Custer's got 'em just where he wants 'em!"
I think USMC Gen C. Puller said something like. "We're surrounded, just where we want'm … the poor bastBleeped text

Striker13 May 2022 9:25 p.m. PST

I recall something about a wild animal being cornered and it not behaving nicely. So now that there's all new NATO buddies are any of these countries, including current members, going to actually meet their treaty obligations? Lots of mothballed hardware making it's way to Ukraine, are they going to be buying more? Are they finally going to keep up with shipbuilding and integration goals?

nickinsomerset14 May 2022 2:06 a.m. PST

"Is it not they who have practically destroyed the Nazis in Mariupol?" What Nazis? Oh spewtin said it so it must be true, all of the Ukraine and the west are Nazis, what a complete plum your leader is. Still so much for his special operation, 3 months later,

Tally Ho!

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2022 5:41 a.m. PST

Great! Thanks for destroying the Nazis in Mariupol. And all the buildings,the hospital, schools. Thanks for getting rid of all the houses and flats, the businesses, cultural landmarks, the power grid, the food and medical resources. Just bury the bodies and do the cleanup, and Mariupol will be saved. Thanks for stamping out the Nazi menace.

Legion 414 May 2022 10:00 a.m. PST

I recall something about a wild animal being cornered and it not behaving nicely.
Putin is cornered & he plus his troops are committing war crimes. So they are already behaving badly. And in e.g. WWII an number of Axis forces were cornered but in the long run. They surrendered, after enough of their troops were dead, most of their equipment is KO'd, etc. and they lost the will to resist, etc. … ]

So now that there's all new NATO buddies are any of these countries, including current members, going to actually meet their treaty obligations? Lots of mothballed hardware making it's way to Ukraine, are they going to be buying more? Are they finally going to keep up with shipbuilding and integration goals?
NATO has become revitalized with Putin's War. It won't be that easy but many in NATO will upgrade their military, etc.

dapeters16 May 2022 12:09 p.m. PST

"NATO has become revitalized with Putin's War. It won't be that easy but many in NATO will upgrade their military, etc."

Yeah I think this is the most humiliating thing for Putin and the chief failure (of several) that will eventually bring him down in the eyes of the oligarchs.

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