On Saturday, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian security council discussed the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. This comes on the heels of unconfirmed deployment of white phosphorus against civilians in key areas.
Medvedev is quoted by the The Guardian "We have a special document on nuclear deterrence. This document clearly indicates the grounds on which the Russian Federation is entitled to use nuclear weapons...". He explains further that there are four scenarios where Russia could deploy nuclear weapons.
1. If Russia is struck by a nuclear missile
2. The use of any nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies
3. An attack on infrastructure that "paralyzed our nuclear deterrent forces"
4. An act of aggression against Russia or its allies "even without the use of nuclear weapons, that is, with the use of conventional weapons"
These clarifications were followed by a reminder that Russia would defend their independence and there should not be "doubt even the slightest that we are ready to give a worthy response to any infringement on our country, on its independence". Russia maintains the world's largest nuclear weapons stockpile at approximately 6,000 known warheads.
The embattlement for Kyiv remains brutal as the second month of the conflict rages on. Ukrainian forces have been able to recover some areas from Russian occupation as the Kremlin moves toward the Southern coast of Ukraine. Nearly 3.8 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the fighting began in February of 2022. The majority fled on the western borders into Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldolva and Slovakia. Over Nearly 300,000 refugees made their way to Russia.
Crimea, annexed in 2014 by Russia, is a focal point of the engagement. Russian-backed separatists have claimed areas in the South and Eastern border areas. According to Reuters, Russia announced that their focus would be to maintain these areas and that they were scaling back their ambitions in other areas of Ukraine. The situation remains complex.