22 September 2022
edited 28 Septemebr 2022  0430 UTC

Nuclear Flatulence

As Russia announces the partial mobilisation of its reservists and as various culturally Russian Oblasts declare they will have a plebiscite on whether or not to once again become part of Russia there are several issues that deserve comment.

Nuclear fallout from NATO aggression - where will it fall?

September 21, 2022 in an address by the President of the Russian Federation to Russian citizens (and anyone else who didn't have clothe ears) the President made a rather obscure remark that was probably lost on most of us:

"Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around."
Vladimir Putin 21 September 2022

A wind rose is a circular diagram like a bike wheel, with each spoke a compass bearing, with the spoke longer or shorter according to how often the wind blows from a given quarter. The prevailing wind in a country, in other words.

It is also (basically) a compass. NATO has a 4-pronged wind rose on its flag. Perhaps the comment refers to NATO expanding from west to east, in breach of it's 1990 promise not to expand "one inch east". Perhaps  NATO, if it is wise, will turn around and go back west to the 1990 situation. "...the wind rose can turn around". Was it a threat?

'Can" not 'must'. I suppose you could take a very liberal interpretation and say that NATO should withdraw 'or else', but that is a stretch of interpreting what are fairly plain words. Alternatively, in the end, NATO will be forced to withdraw because Russia will attack all NATO personnel in Ukraine. That is even more far-fetched.

Perhaps a more logical meaning is that of a meteorological wind rose, referring to the result of US detonating a nuclear weapon in or above Russia, expecting the fallout to fall on Russian territory. But.the wind could shift and also blow the fallout onto Europe.

The other, less obvious possible meaning is of a Russian 'tit for tat' response to a nuclear-fallout-contaminated Russia (from a US 'battlefield' tactical nuke, or from USA detonating a nuke offshore Russia's east coast or Arctic coast).

The Russian 'payback' response could be the detonation of a series of small nuclear explosions off the coastal USA (outside USA territory) at a time when the prevailing wind would carry the fallout over the continental United States.

But don't worry - Russia has no intention of ever using nuclear weapons - they are a simply deterrence against western political stupidity.

Russia has a 'no first use' nuclear weapons policy - USA retains it's Hiroshima and Nagasaki first use option

Russia has long argued that all sides should embrace the "inadmissibility" of the use of nuclear weapons.

"From a political perspective, it’s of principal importance that Russia and the US calm the rest of the world and pass a joint statement at a high level that there can be no victory in a nuclear war and therefore it is unacceptable and inadmissible," Lavrov said.

Lavrov recalled that the leaders of the US and the Soviet Union had earlier made such statements. "We do not understand why they cannot reconfirm this position now. Our proposal is being considered by the US side," Russia’s top diplomat said.
Tass June 11 2019

"We would like to note that the incumbent US administration’s representative has responded negatively to the official Russian proposal made in October 2018 to pass a bilateral statement confirming the unacceptability of nuclear war which is not winnable, and which should never be unleashed...

The US refusal to accept the Russian proposal seems hardly surprising against the background of Washington’s line of reducing the nuclear threshold and its active implementation of military programmes highlighting the dangerous and absurd US intention to wage a nuclear war and to win in nuclear conflicts."
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova 10 December 2020

"We had to refute repeatedly the insinuations about Russia’s potential use of nuclear weapons during the special military operation in Ukraine. This is a deliberate lie.
Russia firmly adheres to the principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it must never be unleashed.

Last year, we managed to persuade the United States and then the entire Nuclear Five to reaffirm their commitment to this principle. A relevant top-level joint statement with the Americans was adopted on June 16, 2021. The leaders of the Five issued a top-level statement to this effect on January 3, 2022"
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova 6 May 2022

"Against this background, speculation is spreading in the media about the alleged use of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the special military operation or the readiness to use chemical weapons. All of these information gibberish are lies.

From a military point of view, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve its goals. The main purpose of Russian nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack. Its use is limited to extraordinary circumstances as defined in the Russian guideline documents, which are open to public inspection."
Sergei Shoiguv 
Russian Minister of Defence 17 August 2022

"As for Russia, President Vladimir Putin and other Kremlin officials have said on numerous occasions that we have a doctrine on the Basic Principles of the State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence. It is a public document and clearly sets out everything in this connection. I suggest that you take another look at circumstances under which we would use nuclear weapons, which are absolutely clearly outlined."
Sergey Lavrov 25 September 2022

Coming back to President Putins September 21 address to the nation,  the speech also contained the Russian response to the threats by irresponsible western politicians and military figures to attack Russia with nuclear weapons:

"Washington, London and Brussels are openly encouraging Kiev to move the hostilities to our territory. They openly say that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield by any means, and subsequently deprived of political, economic, cultural and any other sovereignty and ransacked.

They have even resorted to the nuclear blackmail. I am referring not only to the Western-encouraged shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which poses a threat of a nuclear disaster, but also to the statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia.

I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff."
Vladimir Putin 22 September 2022

The President is responding specifically and direct to those advocating a nuclear attack on Russia. Russia's doctrine on use of nuclear weapons is clear. (I have omitted the section on their deterrence concept) The doctrine document says:

"17. The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and/or its allies, as well as in the event of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy.

18. The decision to use nuclear weapons is taken by the President of the Russian Federation.

19. The conditions specifying the possibility of nuclear weapons use by the Russian Federation are as follows:

a) arrival of reliable data on a launch of ballistic missiles attacking the territory of the Russian Federation and/or its allies;

b) use of nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction by an adversary against the Russian Federation and/or its allies;

c) attack by adversary against critical governmental or military sites of the Russian Federation, disruption of which would undermine nuclear forces response actions;

d) aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy."

Very clear, very specific, and are outlined in clause 19. If NATO (USA really) uses nuclear weapons on Russia then that is a clear case of 19 (b). Nuclear attack on Russia invites a nuclear response. That is hardly surprising.

The western press, of course, childishly refer only to the final few sentences of President Putins response to the wests proposal to 'nuke Russia'. They entirely leave out the fact that the option of using nuclear weapons is only in response to a western nuclear attack. They leave out the fact that the reply is directly replying to those deranged NATO Dr Strangeloves who propose such criminality.

The press frame the comment (trimmed of all context) as a generic threat to use nuclear weapons against the west. In other words, they are deliberately misleading their audience.

So who are these "high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries" who threaten to use nuclear weapons on Russia?

"After the special military operation began, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said publicly that Russia must remember that France has nuclear weapons too. That statement was not provoked in any way. We never as much as mentioned this subject. It was Vladimir Zelensky who started speaking about it. All of you remember what Liz Truss said when asked if she would be ready to push the nuclear button.

There's your answer.