Can Putin launch a nuclear attack on his own?

At the leaders of the Russian state, three men have access to nuclear weapons. Vladimir Putin, as well as his Minister of Defense and Chief of Defense Staff.

Last Sunday, along with Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Secretary of Defense Valery Gerasimov, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared on television that he would “put the deterrence of the Russian army in a special combat alert system.” In particular, “deterrence” consisting of nuclear weapons.

On social networks, observers point out the staging of the announcement. Two of the most important Russian hierarchies, Sergey Shoygu and Valery Gerasimov, were kept at a safe distance from the Kremlin’s head on the other side of the long reception table. I can’t help but remember the treatment that Emmanuel Macron booked when he last visited Moscow...

Approval of Chief of Staff and Defense Minister

Since Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Vladimir Putin has been presented as an isolated and paranoid man. Under these circumstances, can he launch a nuclear attack alone after placing “deterrence” under “special combat alerts”?

“He (Vladimir Putin, editor’s note) looks like he’s in a bunker somewhere in Siberia. He’s a pretty complicated guy. Indeed, he became paranoia. His in 2000. At the beginning of his reign, this was not the case. He paid a little attention to the Western opinion. Today he cares nothing, “said CNRS politician and Russian world expert. Analyzed this Tuesday on BFMTV Elene Blanc.

Experts point out that the exact protocol for launching Russia’s nuclear attack remains unknown in the media. “Experts agree that we do not know the exact protocol,” Parisian Benoit Pelopidas, Professor of Sciences Po, Book Author Rethink nuclear choice..

“It seems that we have the power to give orders, but the process will be controversial, which was the time of the Soviet Union,” the head of state of Russia added.

In any case, this is an improvement Express Benjamin Hautecouverture, a researcher at the Strategic Research Foundation, a nuclear expert. For him, the idea that Vladimir Putin can “push the red button alone at the crazy moment of Dr. Strangelove” is wrong.

“Fortunately, nuclear power does not work that way in Russia either. Encrypted communications equipment to order the launch of a nuclear attack works in collaboration with the Defense Minister and the Army Secretary of State. Is a combination of these three actions. People who can cause a nuclear fire, “he explains. Express..

In the case of Valery Gerasimov

Obviously, if Vladimir Putin decides to launch an atomic attack, he will need the consent of Sergey Shoygu, his Minister of Defense, and Russian Army Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov. His profile is interesting. Appointed Chief of Staff in 2012, he is presented as a theorist of the doctrine of “hybrid warfare,” which was presented as incompatible with the use of nuclear weapons.

This “hybrid warfare” practice aims to attack enemies in detours without direct contact. Media RT and Sputnik, which have just been banned in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are direct derivatives of this concept. A doctrine that is incompatible with the use of nuclear weapons. Therefore, Valerie Gerasimov can oppose refusing to use an atomic attack if it is determined. It remains to know his maneuverable room for Vladimir Putin.

At BFMTV-RMC this morning, former Russian diplomat Vladimir Fedorovsky described the Kremlin’s master as a “spiritual” man. “He’s a street child. He’s almost put in jail. He’s a mentally rigid person and fights to the end. He fights,” said Vladimir Putin.

Risk minimized by the White House

In any case, the risk of a nuclear attack from Russia still seems very hypothetical.

of Express“Vladimir Putin evokes an increase in deterrence alertness. He does not evoke an employment threat. It is very different,” recalls Benjamin Hautekburcher.

For US President Joe Biden, who has the second-largest nuclear warhead after Russia, the risk was minimized. Asked if Americans should be worried about nuclear war, Joe Biden simply answered “no.”