Greg Koblentz, member of the Scientists Working Group on Chemical and Biological Threats, spoke to the Spanish-language news site El Periódico about the potential for Russian use of weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine.
Gregory Koblentz, a professor at George Mason University, where he directs the Biodefense Program, estimates the risk of Moscow using nuclear weapons in this conflict “extremely low” and sees the events in Ukraine “far from the conditions that would make a plausible option or possible for Putin.” In a telephone interview, he opines that the Kremlin is making “nuclear saber rattling” for several reasons: as “an implicit threat that they will not tolerate a certain level of military intervention in the conflict” and as “national political propaganda.” Putin would seek, according to him, “to help reassure its citizens that Russia remains a great power because they have nuclear weapons and it is a strong state.”
Koblentz also thinks that “the differences between small and large atomic weapons are not important in this context” and assures that “the physical consequences of a smaller nuclear weapon would be minor, but the political and diplomatic implications would be equally monumental.” It is also the factor why he does not see the possibility of the Kremlin using chemical or biological weapons as a great threat at this time. “It would be counterproductive for them,” he says, although he does see the possibility of a “false flag operation” being carried out, as intelligence agencies and governments of various countries have warned. Read more