Russian President Vladimir Putin has no good options as he seeks to impose his will on Ukraine. As Kyiv makes real progress on the frontlines, he has threatened to use nuclear weapons, and many commentators worry that he might follow through. With more than 5,000 nuclear warheads, Putin’s threats have made the war in Ukraine increasingly urgent and serious. Washington has told Putin that there will be “catastrophic consequences” if Moscow were to use them.

Are Putin’s nuclear threats real?  Or do they just show his desperation as his war effort fails? Would Washington’s “catastrophic consequences” truly materialize in the event of a nuclear strike in Ukraine? 

Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, moderates a panel with Gen. (Ret.) Philip Breedlove, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Debra Cagan, distinguished energy fellow at the Transatlantic Leadership Network, Ambassador John Herbst, senior director of the Eurasia Center, and Victoria Voytsitska, former member of parliament in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada.

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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.