Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to unleash threats of nuclear war, the use of chemical weapons, mercenaries and kidnapping tactics, potentially beyond Ukraine’s borders, if resistance to Russia’s invasion continues, according to the Pentagon.
“Protracted occupation of parts of Ukrainian territory threatens to sap Russian military manpower and reduce their modernized weapons arsenal, while consequent economic sanctions will probably throw Russia into prolonged economic depression and diplomatic isolation,” Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lieutenant General Scott Berrier said in a recent DIA memo, according to Bloomberg.
“As this war and its consequences slowly weaken Russian conventional strength, Russia likely will increasingly rely on its nuclear deterrent to signal the West and project strength to its internal and external audiences,” Berrier went on to tell the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing Thursday.
“U.S. efforts to undermine Russia’s goals in Ukraine, combined with its perception that the United States is a nation in decline, could prompt Russia to engage in more aggressive actions not only in Ukraine itself, but also more broadly in its perceived confrontation with the West,” according to Bloomberg, adding, “despite greater than anticipated resistance from Ukraine and relatively high losses in the initial phases of the conflict, Moscow appears determined to press forward by using more lethal capabilities until the Ukrainian government is willing to come to terms favorable to Moscow,” Berrier said.
In early March, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that there was “no reason” to raise the national nuclear alert level, despite Putin ordering Russia to raise the alert level. (RELATED: What Happens If Putin Nukes Ukraine?)
“We believe that Moscow may be setting the stage to use a chemical weapon and then falsely blame Ukraine to justify escalating its attacks on the Ukrainian people,” Yesterday, Blinken said Thursday. He noted that the use of false flag operations to justify horrific attacks against humanity is something Putin has done in the past.
Sec. Antony Blinken expressed grim concerns over Russia’s possible next steps in Ukraine — including the use of chemical weapons, sending in mercenaries, and kidnapping local officials to replace them with ‘puppets’ pic.twitter.com/VOYUhyKoqo
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 18, 2022
“We believe Russia will bring its mercenaries from private military groups and foreign countries to Ukraine,” before going on to say that Russians are likely to “systematically kidnap local officials and replace them with ‘puppets.'” According to Blinken, at least two city officials from Ukraine have been kidnapped, with only one having been released by Russian forces thus far.