Russian Nuclear-Rattle Bites MAD

NATO Strong, while Joe Biden is “Cool Hand Luke”: Scranton Joe vs. KGB Vlad

Must read

by Ravi Batra
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

May 16, 2022

May 9th 2022, Victory Day in Red Square was a nail biter across the world – and I expected – President Putin, given the illegal war in Ukraine going amiss and coming up “short” in face of Ukrainian bravery reminiscent of Leonidas of Sparta, to announce an escalation of forces and types of weapons used, including, hypersonics, and possibly, tactical nuclear, to mollify and unify his population to earn its continued support for his imperial misadventure, which was terribly belated according to Alexsandr Dugin; the delay-facet, I have independently acknowledged, prior to 60 Minutes airing on April 12, 2022 its 2017 Interview, with appreciation in my first Op-Ed regarding Mr. Putin’s 20-yearslong announced security concerns:Need Win‑Win, Not Lose‑Lose,” published two days before Russia Invaded Ukraine, with 9 predicate links that document Russia’s credible insecurity: from 1975 Helsinki to February 17, 2022 “Written Reaction” by Russia to the US response (https://www.america‑times.com/need‑win‑win‑not‑lose‑lose/). That former Secretary of State James A. Baker III wrote an Op-Ed on December 5, 1993 in the L.A. Times, something I discovered a few months ago – even as I having independently been arguing for years that Russia ought join NATO so as to solve, and create, “Security for all” – supports my tempered judgment, albeit, admittedly from an American lens. After this War started, on March 11, 2022, I wrote my second Op-Ed on this subject: “From Holy Trinity to Unjust War – Holy Trinity of Yalta, Potsdam & Bretton Woods Surrenders to P5; A Direct Plea to President Putin ‑ We Hear You: Now Stop the War and Secure Russia, or Lose it All.

https://www.america‑times.com/from‑holy‑trinity‑to‑unjust‑war/

But, Mr. Putin, obviously having enough domestic support on V-Day 2022, did not utter a single word to clarify the unsettled way forward for his war, wherein he seeks to change by force the security structure in Europe and beyond by invading a neighbor. And, yes, truly everybody celebrates the victory of the Allied forces over Nazi Hitler, and the death of the “Master Race” Fascists in WWII. Moreover, the Red Army’s ultimate sacrifice of nearly 27 million of her citizens, a loss spread across the USSR republics, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Ukraine and Tajikstan, is worthy of respect and of Blessed memory.

A photo from the 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade. Credit: CC BY 4.0

Since the 24th February invasion of Ukraine, the Russian army has used conventional weapons, albeit, allegedly sometimes outside the “norms of war,” such as in Bucha. However, Russian officials have enjoyed tickling Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) by needlessly rattling their nuclear sabers in their declarations after February 27th, when President Vladimir Putin ordered the transfer of its nuclear forces to a state of heightened combat readiness. Troubling to Russia and the Putin’s “brain trust,” including, Dugin (who probably as-of-right wants Alaska back too), is President Joe Biden’s “Cool Hand Luke” geopolitical response – better than Paul Newman – since the start of this Unjust Proxy War by Russia against us and NATO. Cool Hand Biden’s response to Putin’s Nuclear readiness: nothing; nada; and “steady as she goes!”

Late morning of May 9th, I breathe a sign of relief, as President Putin didn’t escalate. So, maybe I was mis-reading this multi-headed hydra of a war – after all, it has at least 3 direct prongs: its real, “hot,” painful and destructive; its an information war, to intervene politically, both for domestic support and foreign discombobulation, but, ultimately, it’s an intimate “Tango” of wills between Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vladimir Putin, aka Scranton Joe vs KGB Vlad – with all due respect to all other world leaders – including – the “No Limits” senior partner, China’s President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has carved out a stabilizer role, Prime Minister Boris Johnson who enjoys being in Kyiv to be near the Winston Churchill of our times, President Volodymyr Zelensky, re-elected President Emmanuel Macron who is spearheading shuttle diplomacy for both essential nuclear annihilation-avoidance and relevancy, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz who has flipped Angela Merkel’s near-neutral Germany to clearly rebuke this war.

Meeting of the President of Ukraine with the Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a delegation of the US House of Representatives.

DNI Avril Haines Says What Putin Didn’t on V-Day

My one day joy from being wrong was deflated on May 10th, when Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Russian invasion could become “more unpredictable and potentially escalatory” as “Putin’s strategic goals have probably not changed.” “The uncertain nature of the battle, which is developing into a war of attrition, combined with the reality that Putin faces a mismatch between his ambitions and Russia’s current conventional military capabilities likely means the next few months could see us moving along a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory.” She also assessed that Kremlin’s threat to use nuclear weapons is aimed to deter the U.S. and other allies from delivering Ukraine with more military equipment. Nevertheless, Haines added, the Russian president could authorize fresh nuclear drills as a signal to the West only “if he perceived an existential threat to the Russian state or regime.” (Emphasis added)

Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine – Beyond MAD – Includes First Strike

Russia’s nuclear doctrine envisages the possibility of using nuclear weapons in case of an existential threat to the country, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said in an interview with the UK‑based UnHerd News portal on May 12th  reported the Russian news agency, TASS. Earlier, on March 29th, in an interview with PBS News Hour, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia will use nuclear weapons only when there is a threat to the existence of the country, adding that the result of a full‑scale Russian invasion of Ukraine is not associated with the use of nuclear weapons. “We have a concept of security, which clearly states that only when there is a threat to the existence of the state, our country, we can use and will actually use nuclear weapons to eliminate the threat to existence of our country,” Kremlin spokesman said. On April 14th, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council and former President (2008 to 2012) and Prime Minister (2012 to 2020) of the Russian Federation, warned NATO that Moscow would deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in Kaliningrad if Sweden and Finland joined NATO.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (left) with Haines at the Pentagon. credit:
CC BY 2.0

Perfect Irony: Finland and Sweden Now Want to join NATO

Law of unintended consequences never struck a more ironic geopolitical note, than when Finland and Sweden – because of Mr. Putin’s war against Ukraine to restructure the security architecture by force and address, from his view, a reverse Cuban Missile Crisis – will actually cause a NATO expansion.

Still, as expected, the discussion about Sweden’s and Finland’s joining of NATO aggravated the situation between Russia and the West. Speaking to UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers, Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said that Sweden and Finland “know that the moment they become members of NATO it will imply certain mirror moves on the Russian side. If there are NATO detachments in those territories, these territories would become a target — or a possible target — for a strike.” However, DNI Avril Haines said that National Intelligence does not believe Putin will use nuclear weapons unless he feels that there is a threat to Russia’s existence. On May 14th, President Putin gently warned the president of Finland Sauli Niinisto that joining NATO would “negatively” affect relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Aleksey Zhuravlyov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma’s Defense Committee, said in an interview with The Mirror: “If Finland wants to join this bloc, then our goal is absolutely legitimate — to question the existence of this state. This is logical”; “If the United States threatens our state, it’s good: here is the Sarmat for you, and there will be nuclear ashes from you if you think that Russia should not exist”;  “And Finland says that it is at one with the USA. Well, get in line”; and threatened to use the Satan‑2 hypersonic nuclear missile to strike Britain and Finland “in just 200 seconds” — a weapon that could be used to hit the United States as well. The Satan‑2 is a ballistic missile capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads, with an estimated destructive power of three megatons each. “We can hit with a Sarmat from Siberia, and even reach the UK,” “And if we strike from Kaliningrad ¼ the hypersonic’s reaching time is 200 seconds – so go ahead, guys.” “On the Finnish border we will have not strategic weapons, but Kinzhal‑class, one that will reach Finland in 20 seconds, or even 10 seconds.”

NATO foreign ministers gather in Berlin, to discuss the anticipated applications from Sweden and Finland to join, even as Turkey signaled possible objection and talks to resolve same.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, DPR of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations.

Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, also said the U.S. doesn’t expect Russia to employ tactical or combat nuclear weapons soon. Nevertheless, CIA Director William “Bill” Burns on April 14th said following a speech at Georgia Tech that: “[g]iven the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks that they’ve faced so far militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low‑yield nuclear weapons.” The CIA chief continued “While we’ve seen some rhetorical posturing on the part of the Kremlin about moving to higher nuclear alert levels, so far we haven’t seen a lot of practical evidence of the kind of deployments or military dispositions that would reinforce that concern.” “But we watch for that very intently; it’s one of our most important responsibilities at CIA.”

 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on April 17th said “[w]e shouldn’t wait for the moment when Russia decides to use nuclear weapons. ¼ We must prepare for that.” He knows; he is in the “hottest” seat.

Tactical Nuclear Weapons Against Ukraine?

There is a substantial difference between non‑strategic/tactical and strategic warheads. Although the tactical Nukes can cause significant material damage and result in mass casualties, it is smaller in size and could be used in limited areas; while strategic Nukes have an enormous destructive capability. On May 13th, European Council President Charles Michel, visiting Hiroshima, condemned Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons as “shameful and unacceptable”  to global security.

Bipartisan Support for Ukraine: Speaker Pelosi, and then Leader McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell visited Kyiv this past week, after Speaker Pelosi’s earlier trip with Chairmen Greg Meeks and inter alia, Adam Schiff, and told President Zelensky that Republicans too, would support Speaker Pelosi’s enhancement – from $33 billion asked for by President Biden – to $40 billion; as America is bullish on Ukrainians’ bravery, proven everyday by stoic determination to win or die trying. This facet – reminiscent of Leonidas of Sparta – has energized everyday Americans to support Ukraine, and hence, is one of the few things most Americans agree on. Gone are the days when finally sitting in an Oval Office meeting with President Biden, Ukraine was given a mere $200 million in security aid.

Finland’s Sauli Niinistö with US President Joe Biden in the White House in 2022.(Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Russia Is Caught in its Own War-trap, and America Wants to Keep it Caught

Now, America wants to give more – whatever it takes – for Russia, which is caught in its own War-trap, to remain trapped in Ukraine in a face off between her demoralized Russian troops, who don’t believe in their De-Nazification and Demilitarization mission, vs Ukranian soldiers and citizen-militia, willing to use their engineering skills to supplement their weapons, and super-charge their mission, by being unyielding, to win and repel Russian troops back over the border into Russia. Russia may have started a proxy war; but, now, America has embraced Mr. Putin’s proxy war, making it a trap for Russia. Lost, is the new security structure Mr. Putin wanted to create by force; instead, he finds himself caught in history’s quick sand: an unforseen trap triggered by dear Volodymyr Zelensky’s unexpected bravery and refusal to flee, and instead, stay, fight and lead as none since the Yalta-trio of FDR, Churchill and Stalin.

Patriotic Russian Wants Russia to be Great Again, End War and Re-join the World

Thanks to Australian Matthew Ross (@matt_ros), I was alerted to a Tweet by Francis Scarr. As a result, If I were President Putin, I would call the Russian TV Newsman Mikhail Khodaryonok, embrace him, and applaud his honest assessment of actual facts, respect and love for Russia, and his awareness of Russian history’s respect for Marxism-Leninism, when he said on Russian TV: “[u]ltimately, victory on the battlefield is determined by a high level of morale among personnel which sheds blood for ideas which they are prepared to fight for.” It is this singular facet of Ukranian bravery that I have been referring to Ukraine, as being Russia’s Viet Nam, and every Ukranian, a Leonidas of Sparta. The @Francis_Scarr Tweet on May 16th at 4:09pm, New York time, is stunning: “In an extremely rare moment of candor on Russian state TV today, defense columnist Mikhail Khodaryonok gave a damning assessment of Russia’s war in Ukraine and his country’s international isolation. It’s fairly long but worth your time, so I’ve added subtitles.”  https://twitter.com/francis_scarr/status/1526293852704890882?s=27&t=Oc9uXvm9QwHuxBwkMVJK_w

Kharkiv counteroffensive: pushed Russian troops back over the Russian border

On May 16th, Oleh Sinegubov, governor of the Kharkiv oblast, praised the troops on Telegram. “We thank everyone who, risking their lives, liberates Ukraine from Russian invaders.” “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, together — to victory! Glory to Ukraine!”

President Zelensky praised the troops in a video message: “I’m very grateful to you, on behalf of all Ukrainians, on my behalf and on behalf of my family.” “I’m very grateful to all the fighters like you.”

WWII Lend-Lease Revived for Ukraine

Meanwhile, on May 9th, Cool Hand Biden signed into law the “Ukraine Democracy Lend-Lease Act of 2022.” While China defamed this singular support for Ukraine, referring to it as a debt trap for Ukraine, the record shows that the original WWII Lend-Lease protocol was a massive American giveaway to Great Britain, and the Allies, including, Russia and China, whereby, only a small fraction of what was loaned and spent was ever returned to us, and that too, over many decades, without acrimony or default-foreclosure. America the Generous, is at it again.

William Joseph Burns sworn in as CIA Director by Vice President Kamala Harris, March 23, 2021.

Unjust War Goes Mad: Governments Fail with Hyperinflation and Food Insecurity

This Unjust War is not just unjust, as a proxy war gone mad, no pun intended, but is now inhumane well beyond the borders of Ukraine. As it has unleashed hyperinflation, which especially in democracies, is internally-motivated regime change. Look at Sri Lanka, and how our own Midterm elections in 2022 are shaping up, save perhaps the “net” turnout benefit to Democrats from the Draft Justice Alito Opinion overturning Roe v Wade (another example of the law of unintended consequences). And then, beyond the political upheavals caused by hyperinflation-based mass suffering, is the food insecurity collaterally caused by this war, which will separately cause untold millions to be malnourished, or worse, die from no fault of their own or their governments in lands far, far away. This global unexpected Holodomor will also trample innocent governments into collapse. These twin collateral consequences – hyperinflation and food insecurity – will cause political upheaval and unrest, that will drain national treasuries and internally cause regime change.

Yalta Conference 2.0 – Settle the Unjust War: a Truth & Reconciliation Commission

So, sooner, rather than later, Mr. Putin and Mr. Biden, with history-making Mr. Zelensky, need to sit down and settle this un-Godly war to stop the death and destruction in Ukraine, and turmoil elsewhere; prevent the death and injury of any more soldiers, men, women and children in Ukraine, and collaterally, the “other” innocents being hurt or dying across the globe. They also need to acknowledge an obvious fact of Ukranian bravery, and the need to rebuild Ukraine. The tsunami of Ukranian refugees can only be stopped at its source, when a real and honorable peace is negotiated. There is but only one way to achieve a just and honorable peace at the soonest moment –  as nuclear weapons prevent either side from an absolute victory, and therefore, lacking a victor, no arrest of alleged war criminals can occur  – and that is to establish a new Desmond Tutu’s “Truth & Reconciliation Commission” so, even the alleged war crimes can be documented fully and honestly, the missing dead found and properly buried, and those who have done wrong, can repent and beg God for mercy and salvation.

For good and innocent Russians, caught up in the vortex of their Leaders’ dreams and their personal definition of duty, we need to set them free of this war, by recalling the greatness that many a Russian has contributed to humanity, from mathematics to sciences to the arts, be it here on earth or in space. The International Space Station is an example of the inherent goodness and cohesiveness of human beings, when equality, freedom and justice rules supreme.

It’s high time to settle this war.

(I gratefully acknowledge the contribution of The America Times Editor Theodoros Benakis to this Op-Ed.)

About the author

Author profile

Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.

A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.

He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer. 

More articles