Western nations plan to calm people if Kremlin launches nuke attack

Russia: Putin 'considering the nuclear option' says Yatsenyuk

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A Western official has said governments have begun engaging in “prudent planning” for a potential nuclear attack from Russia in or near Ukraine. It comes after Vladimir Putin’s troops launched a wave of deadly missile and drone attacks on the country’s cities and power plants this week.

Moscow’s threats of nuclear use have also been described as “deeply irresponsible”, but officials have said they do not see it as a “nuclear crisis”.

In a press briefing today, the Western officials said governments are carrying out “prudent planning for a range of possible scenarios” when asked if there would be measures in place to prevent people from panicking, the Guardian reported.

Such behaviours could include panic buying or people fleeing cities en masse in fear of escalation after a nuclear event.

The officials stressed, however, that any use of nuclear weapons by Russia in the war would be abhorrent.

The officials added that the renewed campaign of Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities is not something Vladimir Putin will be able to “sustain indefinitely”.

They noted the recent Russian attacks were “further barbaric assaults on the civilian population”.

Putin and his forces were accused of war crimes by the UK and allies after a wave of missile and drone strikes.

The blasts followed a barrage which killed 19 and injured scores more in cities including Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Monday.

One western official said: “There can be no excuse for such attacks and we absolutely support the Ukrainians in their ability to defend themselves against them.

“Russia is… rapidly exhausting its supply of long-range precision munitions – in particular its air-launched cruise missiles.

“So this is not a campaign it will be able to sustain indefinitely.

“Meanwhile, Ukrainians already proved that they were able to shoot down a significant proportion of those missiles and with the additional support of the UK and other western countries… they will be better able to do so in future.”

Speaking about the Russian president’s words on nuclear usage, the official added: “Putin’s comments about nuclear use are deeply irresponsible.

“No other country is talking about nuclear use in and around Ukraine.

“We do not see this as a nuclear crisis.

“Putin should be clear that… any use at all of nuclear weapons would break a taboo on nuclear use that has held since 1945 and would lead to severe consequences for Russia as well as for everybody else.”

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