Will Russia use nuclear weapons? Putin’s options explained

Fears are growing that he will resort to his most deadly arsenal, but he has many reasons to hold back

The destruction and enormous casualty toll suffered during the long battle for the city of Bakhmut has underlined for President Putin that however this particular battle ends he will never be able to declare victory.

Bakhmut will always be remembered as the city that proved Putin’s so-called special military operation was bound to fail. First, because the Russian leader underestimated the commitment of the Ukrainian military forces to defend their country; and second because of the West’s united support for the government in Kyiv.

Under such circumstances, is the nuclear option still the single most devastating card Putin has to play? Or would the launching of tactical nuclear weapons be the final acknowledgment by the Kremlin that the war to take control of Ukraine has