Ukraine War, September 22, 2022: Putin’s threats, Russian nuclear doctrine, and the risks of nuclear conflict

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.


1) Andrea Rizzi, “La debilidad del Kremlin agrava el riesgo nuclear en la guerra de Ucrania; Muchos expertos siguen viendo muy improbable un ataque, pero un contexto militar y político que desestabiliza a Putin plantea incógnitas inquietantes,” El,País, el 21 de septiembre 2022 (23:40 EDT);

2) Andrea Rizzi, “The weakness of the Kremlin aggravates the nuclear risk in the Ukraine war; Many experts continue to see an attack as very unlikely, but a military and political context that destabilizes Putin raises disturbing unknowns,” El Pais, September 21, 2022 (23:40 EDT).

This outstanding article may be translated by Google Translate.

3) Lluís Bassetts, “Ante el negro espejo de la derrota; Si la movilización parcial no sirve y sigue siendo inviable para la estabilidad del régimen la movilización total, a Putin solo le quedará el dilema entre la aceptación de la derrota o el botón nuclear,” El País, el 21 de septiembre 2022 (5:10 a.m. EDT);

4) Anne Applebaum, “The Kremlin Must Be in Crisis; Putin’s erratic actions are not those of a secure leader, September 22, 2022 (12:30 p.m. ET).

5) James Rothwell, “What would happen if Putin unleashed a nuclear strike; Russian president’s latest threat of tactical nuclear weapons has revived fears he could drop an atomic bomb on Ukraine,” The Telegraph, September 21, 2022 (5:03pm);


We should be at DEFCON 3.

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About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.