Has Putin just Said, ‘an Attack on Syria’s Assad is an Attack on Russia’?

President Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly. Photo: Russian President's Official Website
President Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly. Photo: Russian President's Official Website

Revealing a new set of nuclear weapons on Thursday (1 March 2018), the Russian President Vladimir Putin proudly said it could hit any part around the globe. President Putin spoke at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall with video footages of newly developed weapons projected behind him.

Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly that the weapons are so well-built that they have little chances of interception. Mr. Putin warned that Russia will regard an attack on any of its allies as an attack on itself and it will prompt a response from the Russian side.

The Russian leader said the newly developed arsenals include a new intercontinental ballistic missile, a small nuclear warhead to attach to the cruise missiles, underwater nuclear drones, laser weapons, and supersonic arms.

“In late 2017, Russia successfully launched its latest nuclear-powered missile at the Central training ground. During its flight, the nuclear-powered engine reached its design capacity and provided the necessary propulsion,” Mr. Putin said.

Boosting of the newly developed weaponry, President Putin said, “We will view any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies – be it of small, medium or any force – as a nuclear attack on our country.”

Russia has been at odds with the Western countries in several conflicts including neighboring Ukraine and Syria in the Middle East.

Russia supports the Syrian regime led by Bashar al-Assad, helping him survive despite the bloody civil war raging the country for years with strong western supports at the opposition’s disposal.

“We will view any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies – be it of small, medium or any force – as a nuclear attack on our country.”

The Syrian wars led tens of thousands of people to die. In the recent wave of attack, the government forces with the Russian support, have been conducting a bloody operation in the Syrian city Al Ghouta which already claimed hundreds of lives.

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN Chief Antonio Guterres described the situation in Eastern Ghouta as “hell on Earth”.

“I remind all parties of their absolute obligation and international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure at all times. Similarly, efforts to combat terrorism do not supersede these obligations,” said the UN Chief.

The ‘humanitarian pause’ Russian President Vladimir Putin announced for Al Ghouta didn’t last even 5 hours which led more bloodshed and more people to die.

The years of Syrian civil wars engaged numerous countries including the United States, Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Iran has been a staunch supporter of Assad regime since the inception of unrest. Turkey and the United States backed the rebels only to find themselves supporting completely different groups with conflicting interests.

The humanitarian activists allege these countries, instead of respecting Syrian lives, pursue their own interest which turned the whole situation complicated with numerous groups in Syria fighting against other numerous opponents turning the country into never-ending conflicts zone.

The Russian involvement in the conflicts saved the Syrian regime in a desperate situation when the opposition almost began counting days for Assad to leave. The newly developed Russian weaponry with an ensuing warning that an attack on its allies is an attack on Russia will further empower and embolden the Assad regime to crush the divided rebels with different countries backing them for different interests.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after the pro-Russian government in Kiev was ousted by a popular overthrow.

The annexation of Crimea led to war in the Donetsk area of Ukraine after the pro-Russian fighter launched attacks against the security forces of Ukraine demanding separation. In response to the annexation of Crimea, the United States and its European allies announced sanctions against Russia.

“They have not succeeded in holding Russia back. Now they need to take account of a new reality and understand that everything I have said today is not a bluff.”

Referring to the western sanctions, Putin said, “They have not succeeded in holding Russia back. Now they need to take account of a new reality and understand that everything I have said today is not a bluff.”

Meanwhile, denoting the anti-missile systems NATO installed in Poland, Romania, and Alaska, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said, “It turns out that the anti-missile umbrella has holes in it.” Mr. Shoigu accused the NATO of dragging Russia into a new arms race which he believes will be avoided after the revelation of the newly developed Russian nuclear weapons.

The Pentagon, however, has downplayed the statement of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White said the Russian weapons were long under development and had already been ‘factored into the U.S. assessments’. “We’re not surprised by the statements and the American people should rest assured that we are fully prepared,” Ms. Dana White said.

The Russian President Putin at the end of in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday said “We are not threatening anyone, not going to attack anyone or take away anything from anyone with the threat of weapons.

“We do not need anything. Just the opposite,” the Russian President said at the end of an elaborate display of the expensive weaponry.

The revelation of the latest Russian weaponry comes just days before a Russian election which the Russian political experts believe Vladimir Putin is expected to win. Beyond this expected election victory, Putin might have tried to warn his international rivals not to mess with him or his allies which include Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in the Middle East.


mm
About Masum Billah 37 Articles
Masum Billah is a Staff Writer for The GeoStrategists. A Graduate from the Department of International Relations at the University of Dhaka, Masum Billah is a human rights activist. He writes columns on human rights, foreign policy, and terrorism.
Contact: Website

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*