I joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Beverley O’Connor on Tuesday to analyze Vladimir Putin’s latest nuclear bluster.
I dissect Putin’s declaration that Russian tactical nuclear weapons will be deployed in Belarus, explaining that it has little military significance. Instead, the announcement is a political move: 1) to try and portray that the Russian leader is still in control and still on the offensive; and 2) to attempt yet again to break international support for Kyiv.
Adding context, we discuss the relationship of Belarus with Moscow; Russia’s last-gasp offensive in eastern Ukraine; and the prosect of more international military assistance, including battle tanks and fighter jets, to Kyiv.
There have been two game-changers. The first is what has passed. Wave after wave of Russian missile and drone strikes did not break Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and did not freeze Ukrainians in the winter.
The second: the Leopard 2 and Challenger tanks are arriving — and so are the first fighter jets. This doesn’t mean the Ukrainian counter-offensive is soon, but it is coming.