In a dramatic national address, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday that he won’t hesitate to use “all available means” to protect Russian territory, a hint at nuclear weapons.
“In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly use all means available to us,” Putin said, according to the Associated Press.
The Russian president went on to say, “This is not a bluff.”
“The territorial integrity of our homeland, our independence and freedom will be ensured, I will emphasize this again, with all the means at our disposal,” he said. “And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction.”
Putin’s possible nuclear threat lands the same day Russia’s war in Ukraine appears to be escalating, with Russia ordering 300,000 reserve soldiers to mobilize on Wednesday.
Russia’s invasion into Ukraine reportedly lost ground in recent weeks, yet Moscow is preparing to annex Russian-occupied Ukrainian lands by rolling out an orchestrated referendum on Friday. Citizens of several occupied territories in Ukraine will be asked whether they wish to become part of Russia.
ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg said he believes that Putin’s decision to raise of the stakes should be taken “very seriously.”
In a conversation with TBN’s program Centerpoint, Rosenberg criticized U.S. President Joe Biden for not taking Putin’s threat seriously enough and for not providing Ukraine with sufficient help, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been begging for since Russia's invasion.
“This is the most likely scenario for a nuclear war in the world since World War II,” Rosenberg said. “This is the first time that Russia would ever be using nuclear weapons in a combat situation as opposed to just testing them.”
According to Rosenberg, the fact that Putin seems to be losing the war is increasing the chances that he will trigger unconventional military action.
“He’s being humiliated and that’s what makes him so dangerous,” Rosenberg said. “If he could win this war conventionally, he would.”
“I’m glad that he’s not winning this war,” he said. “But the only way Putin stays in power is by projecting fear on his own people and on his neighbors and on the world. At this moment, the only way to re-project strength and fear is to use tactical nuclear weapons. This is an incredibly dangerous moment in the world.”
Rosenberg is expected to launch his new program “The Rosenberg Report” on TBN on Oct. 6, a show produced in Jerusalem that will analyze the news from a Christian, biblical worldview.
When asked about Israel’s stance on the war in Ukraine, Rosenberg told TBN that “Israel was very slow to pick a side in this war early on.”
He believes the reason for that is fear of Putin.
“Putin is arming, supplying, encouraging, and is in a political alliance with the leaders of Tehran, the terror masters in Iran,” he said.
Adding another layer of complexity to the situation is the presence of Russian and Iranian forces in Syria, to Israel’s north.
Although Israel worries about picking a fight with an armed nuclear superpower like Russia and has its own interests in the bilateral relationship, Rosenberg said that “Israel’s heart is with Ukraine. Obviously, there’s a Jewish president, Zelenskyy, in Ukraine and, over time, there’s been more and more statements in defense of Ukraine.”
A major concern of Israel currently is that Russia and the United States, among other world powers, will sign a dangerous nuclear deal with Iran; negotiations to revive the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal have entered their final stages.
Rosenberg warned against such a deal, saying it “would give Iran’s leadership – the terror masters in Tehran – $275 billion or so in the first year and upwards of a trillion dollars over the next decade.”
“This is not cash you want to see injected into a terror nation that’s fomenting terror not just against Israel, but against our moderate Arab allies there,” he said. “Iran’s leaders say they want to not only annihilate Israel and wipe Israel off the map. ... Iran is supplying and funding and arming Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis.”
According to Rosenberg, “Biden’s rhetoric on Iran is fine, but the problem is the actions.” Washington is “literally begging the Iranians to accept this second round” of the nuclear deal, he said.
Meanwhile, Tehran has been flexing its muscles and making demands, feeling empowered after witnessing the U.S.’ demonstration of weakness in its horribly executed withdrawal from Afghanistan last year and its surrender to the Taliban.
“People in Israel and in the Middle East are worried that countries like Russia, Iran, China, North Korea are feeling emboldened to take more and more aggressive action because they don’t see strength in Washington,” Rosenberg explained and called for a bipartisan policy on Iran.
The current circumstances stand in contrast to the attitude of former U.S. President Donald Trump, who had “the courage to tear up the Iran nuclear deal and impose a maximum pressure campaign on Iran,” Rosenberg said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.