Russian units are traditionally trained for operations in nuclear-contaminated territory, but the picketing forces fighting in Ukraine cannot do this, with the Russians deploying nuclear weapons to make their own advance impossible.

As it stands, the Russian army certainly cannot operate on a nuclear-contaminated battlefield, although Russian military units are traditionally prepared for this too – this is the conclusion of the Institute for the Study of Warfare (ISW). A think tank based in Washington.

According to ISW analysts, in its current state, the Russian ground forces are a “chaotic integration”. Contract soldiers, emergency mobilized reserves, conscripts and mercenaries, which cannot operate in a nuclear environment. Therefore, any area contaminated after a potential deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons would be unplayable by the Russians. In other words, by deploying tactical nuclear weapons, Russia would make its own development impossible.

The Ukrainian army has successfully launched offensive operations in recent weeks and managed to recapture significant areas. It has drawn criticism even from many of Vladimir Putin’s allies, with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov openly saying Russia should seek more drastic measures, including tactical nuclear weapons. (The explosive power of the latter is significantly lower than that of larger, strategic nuclear weapons, but they still have enormous destructive power, a tactical nuclear weapon suitable for destroying a small city.)

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