Nord Stream 2

"Putin is losing ..."

from The Gray Area,

The bombing of the Russian Nord Stream European pipeline has been debated all weekend on political and news media. Everyone from the US and Ukraine, to environmental activists and even Russia itself have been discussed a possible culprits.

Yesterday on ABCNews This Week, retired General Petraeus offered a scenario for a US/NATO response if Russian used a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine in response to the pipeline bombing. Interesting scenario, but frightening too as it is not unrealistic.

We hope that Putin takes the less dramatic action to get out of this, by just accepting the new annexed area and halting hostilities. Petraeus doesn't see it that way. And neither does Ukraine.

Putin "is losing" despite "significant" but "desperate" moves in the war that began in late February, Petraeus told ABC "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl. "President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy and Ukraine have mobilized vastly better than has Russia," Petraeus said. "Ukraine has recruited, trained, equipped, organized and employed force incomparably better than Russia has." Regardless of Putin's bravado, Petraeus said, "No amount of annexation, no amount of even veiled nuclear threats can get him out of this situation." Asked by Karl if Russia could win in its conflict with Ukraine, Petraeus said he did not see how: "They cannot. There is nothing he [Putin] can do at this point."

Still, he said the nuclear threat must be taken "seriously."

Karl asked him if the use of such weapons would require the U.S. to directly intervene in the conflict with NATO. Petraeus said a response might see the U.S. and its NATO allies "take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield" in Ukraine, the contested region of Crimea that Russia annexed in 2014 and ships in the Black Sea. "It cannot go unanswered.

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