We need pre-emptive strikes, so that they (Russia) know what will happen to them if they use the nuclear weapon, not the other way around,” said the president of Ukraine.
This statement provoked harsh reactions in Moscow, but also a lot of analysis, interpretations and “fact check” in the Western media, along with interventions by President Zelenski’s advisors, in an attempt to clarify the “preventive strikes”. The statement was made a day before the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which Zelensky was the bookies’ favorite, along with Greta Thunberg.
In a teleconference speech at Australia’s Lowy Institute on Thursday, Zelenskiy said NATO must make it impossible for Russia to use nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine.
The possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons must be “eliminated”. “But what is important, and I appeal once again to the international community, as I did before February 24, is that we need preventive strikes, so that they know what will happen to them if they use the nuclear weapon, not on the contrary,” said Zelensky. “Don’t wait for Russia’s nuclear strikes and then say, ‘Oh, since you did it, take it from us!’ Reconsider how you apply pressure. That’s what NATO needs to do – rethink the order of applying pressure,” Zelenskiy said.
The spokesman of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, reacted to these statements saying that “they are nothing more than a call to start a world war”. The spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zakharova, showed that “every person on the planet” should recognize that the “unbalanced” leader of Ukraine has become “a monster whose hands will destroy the planet”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Zelensky’s statements justify Russia’s actions to “pacify Ukraine”. “In doing so, he brought new evidence to the world about the threats posed by the Kyiv regime. That is why the special military operation was launched to neutralize them,” Lavrov said, referring to Zelenski’s recent statements.
Newsweek magazine quickly did a “fact check”. He began by suggesting that the whole world should know the subtleties of the Ukrainian language – the word “udar” used by Zelenskiy can be literally translated as “blow”, but it also has less “harsh” figurative meanings. Presidential adviser Mihailo Podoliak intervened and pointed out that his boss reminded the world of “Russia’s nuclear blackmail and asked the world to preemptively show Russia the consequences of using nuclear weapons.” That means “sanctions and military aid” for Ukraine, Podiliak said, trying to dispel the idea that Zelenskiy would call for NATO military strikes against Russia.
The president “did not ask the NATO countries to preemptively use nuclear weapons against the Russian Federation – he spoke about the period before the beginning of the Russian invasion”, the presidential administration in Kyiv showed. “Colleagues, you have gone a little too far with the nuclear hysteria and now you are hearing about nuclear strikes, when there is no strike. The President spoke about the period before February 24. It was then necessary to take some preventive measures to prevent Russia from starting a war. I remind you that the only measures discussed then were preventive sanctions,” said Serghei Nikiforov, press secretary of the Ukrainian presidency.
After all the analysis of Zelenski’s speech and the interventions of his advisers, Newsweek draws the conclusion – FALSE, Zelenski did not call for the use of nuclear weapons.
But this “fact check” is not taken into account by many very influential users of social platforms. “Zelesnki asked NATO to start a nuclear war with Russia. It’s crazy,” writes Kim Dotcom. “Zelensky: didn’t we get the approval to join NATO? OK, then NATO must destroy the world in a nuclear Holocaust to prevent a nuclear war,” writes Garland Nixon, a tall-show maker.
Zelenski’s statements were made at a time when the international press is writing about the possibility of a “nuclear Armageddon”, as Ukrainian troops manage to break through Russian lines in the south and east of Ukraine. Journalists and opinion leaders in the West believe that as Moscow feels it is being squeezed and is losing ground with its special operation in Ukraine, President Putin will become more unpredictable and consider the possibility of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine tactical and other nuclear weapons.
Source: Cotidianul RO by www.cotidianul.ro.
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