Tags: fred fleitz | putin | russia | ukraine | nuclear

Fred Fleitz to Newsmax: Putin Not Desperate Enough for Nukes

By    |   Tuesday, 01 November 2022 03:12 PM EDT

Russian President Vladimir Putin is "desperate" with the situation in Ukraine, but it will take the crossing of a "certain red line" before he'll order the use of nuclear weapons, as such devices could "unleash radiation that could leak back to Russia," Fred Fleitz, the vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security, said Tuesday on Newsmax.

"I think if certain long-range missiles are provided to the Ukrainians, if they're attacking in Russian territory, or if they tried to invade Crimea, those are red lines that might get Putin to go over the line, but I don't think he wants to use weapons like this," Fleitz, a Newsmax contributor and former chief of staff to the National Security Council, said on Newsmax's "John Bachman Now." 

That doesn't mean the use of nuclear weapons is off the table, and the United States could still face that concern, Fleitz added, but still, "the Institute for the Study of War also has come to this conclusion. They think it's unlikely Putin will do this unless a certain red line is crossed.

"His troops would have to wear radiation suits for areas they could not enter. It's nice to throw that threat around, but I think in this situation, it would be an act of extreme desperation by Putin, and I don't think he's there yet." 

Putin, though, is desperate as his army is "getting routed" and he's facing the loss of the city of Kherson, the gateway to Crimea, said Fleitz. 

"What we see right now is Putin is lashing out in anger, trying to destroy Ukraine with his weapons," but even the current tactic of using cruise missiles against Ukrainian targets will not go on much longer, said Fleitz. 

"Cruise missiles are extremely expensive," he said. "Russia does not have an infinite supply of that. They're meant to attack military targets, not to use as weapons of terror. Eventually, they'll run out of them because of the advanced electronics required to make them."

But such attacks are intended to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people, just as are threats to cut off energy to Europe, said Fleitz, but he doesn't think that will work, either. 

"It may lead to another mass exodus from Ukraine," he said. "But I think the Ukrainian people are going to stick to their guns. They are not going to give up and settle with Putin under these circumstances."

Fleitz further said he's concerned that Putin will use Ukrainian attacks on ships with Russia's Black Sea fleet to back out of its deal to allow grain shipments to leave the country. 

"The good news is that these ships are leaving now, and they haven't been harassed by the Russians," said Fleitz. "I did a debate yesterday on the Middle East TV network with Russian journalists who said that the Russians may also want to inspect these ships to make sure they're not carrying weapons for use in the war effort. So far, that hasn't happened."

There is still the threat of cyberwarfare from Russia, which has had an active effort on that front against several countries, including the U.S., for a long time. 

"I'm sure they have a very dedicated effort to attack computers in Ukraine and the United States," Fleitz said. "It's always ongoing. The U.S. government is aware of this, but frankly, we can't ever do enough to protect government computers from this kind of threat."

Fleitz also commented on the damages that were caused to Russia's Nord Stream oil and gas pipeline to Europe, calling it an "act of desperation" on Russia's part, as the move will "hurt Russia severely in the long term."

"Russia's creating a situation where its best market for energy may never come back," said Fleitz. "In Europe, they will find other sources of natural gas. Russia can't sell off its gas to China. They don't have an adequate pipeline capability. It will take years before they have that so this may hurt Europe in the short term, but long term it's going to hurt Russia very badly."

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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Russian President Vladimir Putin is "desperate" with the situation in Ukraine, but it will take the crossing of a "certain red line" before he'll order the use of nuclear weapons, Fred Fleitz, the vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security, said Tuesday on Newsmax.
fred fleitz, putin, russia, ukraine, nuclear
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2022-12-01
Tuesday, 01 November 2022 03:12 PM
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