Would Putin really use nukes?

With his armed forces quickly losing ground in Ukraine, members of his government bemoaning battlefield losses, draft-aged men fleeing the county and reality setting in that Russia will likely never take over Ukraine, Russia president Vladimir Putin has become increasingly fiery over the course of the last few weeks, even going so far as to claim he would consider using nuclear weapons to defeat Ukraine in a war that has slogged on for much longer of a time than he could have possibly imagined.
The question is, would he really use nuclear weapons on the battlefield?
Nobody can say for sure whether or not Putin would get that desperate, especially as the losses for his once-proud military are piling up. But the fact he has even broached the subject of using nuclear weapons is cause for concern, as the use of such weapons would have global ramifications that could snowball into something much more horrific. Putin was once quoted as acknowledging nuclear weapon use would be catastrophic for the world, but followed that up by wondering why the world would need to be around without Russia, anyway. Chilling.
If God-forbid Putin were to actually use a nuclear weapon, it would likely be a tactical nuclear weapon, not a strategic weapon. Strategic nuclear weapons are the ones that are planet killers—the kind the Russia and United States have pointed at each other for what is known as Mutually Assured Destruction should either decide to use one. It would essentially put an end to the world as we know it.
Strategic nukes, however, are less powerful but still very deadly and dangerous. They could wipe out several city blocks and still emit hazardous radiation that would have lasting effects for years. Such weapons can be dropped from planes, fired on missiles from the ground, ships or submarines, or detonated by ground forces.
However, using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine would also be detrimental to Russia, as various outlets have reported that prevailing winds would carry the radioactive  debris back toward Russia, which would obviously cause harm to the country’s own people. It would also move across Europe, which could be seen as an attack on Europe, which would then trigger Article Five of NATO, meaning an attack on one country in NATO is an attack on all, and would trigger a NATO response.
Speaking of responses, if a tactical nuclear weapon were used by Russia, it undoubtedly would be met with a response from NATO and the United States. Officials haven’t said it directly, but have indicated should Russia try to move its tactical nukes into position, they will be destroyed by NATO the minute the engines turn on. Russia’s entire Black Sea fleet would also likely be sank in response.
As Putin gets more desperate and the war more lost, it’s possible, but not likely, he resorts to nuclear weapons. Let’s hope even Putin isn’t enough of a madman to resort to these tactics.

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