Connect with us

Features

Might Russia use its ‘Tactical’ Nuclear weapons?

Published

on

by Gwynne Dyer

On 25 August the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, announced that the country’s combat aircraft have been ‘upgraded’ by the Russians to carry nuclear weapons, and Belarusian pilots are being trained to deliver them. It got a single paragraph, or no notice at all, on most news sites. Nobody panicked.

That’s partly because nobody is afraid of the Belarusian air force, and nobody believes that the Russians would really give Lukashenko nuclear weapons. It’s also partly because everybody has got used to Moscow reminding us every three or four weeks that it might use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine if it gets really cross.

Russian President Vladimir Putin started hinting heavily that he might use nuclear weapons if other countries intervened to prevent his conquest of Ukraine on the very first day of the war. “The consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history,” he warned on 24 February.

That sounded like Putin was actually threatening to use his long-range, city-killing nukes on NATO countries if they intervened. After that opening fanfare, however, the threats from Russian official sourcess were dialed back to occasional reminders that Moscow might use much smaller ‘tactical’ nukes on the eastern battlefields in Ukraine.

Putin and Lukashenko

The talk-show super-patriots on Russian (state television) went on fantasising about World War Three in full costume dress – “Why do we need a world if Russia is not in it?” as presenter Dmitri Kiselyov put it – but the military professionals had presumably pointed out to the regime that threatening Armageddon would alarm even Russia’s friends (like China).

So, the official references by Russian sources to possible nuclear use in Ukraine became more indirect and less frequent, particularly after Russian abandoned its failed attempt to seize Kyiv and the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine began making slow but steady progress. Even for Russians, nuclear use is a counsel of despair.

But now the Russian offensive in the east has fully stalled, and the perceived stalemate has put the question of tactical nuclear weapons back on the table. To be fair, the renewed chatter about the Russian use of mini-nukes is now coming more from pundits in the Western media than from Russia sources, but the concern is genuine.

Even one tactical nuke could open up a hole in Ukrainian lines that Russian forces could pour through. The Russians would also hope that it would terrify the NATO countries into abandoning their support for Ukraine. On the other hand, it might escalate the conflict into a full-on nuclear war between Russia and the NATO countries.

Both sides will have war-gamed this to death, trying out the various possible moves and counter-moves once a single low-yield Russian nuclear weapon has been used on the Ukrainian front line. (Even Putin would not nuke a city, or launch a full strike on all of Ukraine. This would be ‘robust signalling’, not an overture to worldwide nuclear holocaust.)

The likelihood that the Russians would actually choose to go down this road is currently quite low, but it is not zero. There is no genuine Russian national interest at stake here, but the careers of Vladimir Putin and his closest associates certainly are at risk. For them military defeat, or even a prolonged and costly stalemate, spells political ruin.

Many of them would just flee abroad and live with their money if the Ukrainian invasion fails and the regime collapses, but for Putin himself this seems to be a heritage issue. He feels the hand of history on his shoulder, and he has come to see himself as an historical figure on the scale of Catherine the Great or Peter the Great.

Putin is probably not thinking of ordering a single nuclear strike on Ukraine at the moment, for the military stalemate is still young and he clearly believes he still has cards to play. But if those cards don’t work and the Russian military and political situation deteriorates, he might be tempted. What should NATO do if he gives in to the temptation?

The best NATO response would be to do nothing nuclear at all. Just announce that any further nuclear weapons use, or any attempt by Russian troops to advance through the gap that the single strike opened in Ukraine’s defences, will be met by the full deployment of NATO’s conventional air power over Ukraine.

Is this what NATO’s war-gamers have concluded? I don’t know, but both sides will have been gaming out every possible response to the explosion of a single Russian tactical nuclear weapon in eastern Ukraine. Let us hope that this is what the NATO groups have decided – and that they have also communicated their decision to the Russians.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Features

To recognise and reward Women Entrepreneur

Published

on

by Zanita Careem

WCIC “Prathibhabis-heka” national awards will be given to outstanding women entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka and the SAARC said Anoji de Silva, the chairperson of Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce WCIC at a press conference held at the Jetwing hotel Ward PlaceThis year the Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by DFCS Aloka.This National Award which is recognised globally will help women to market their products to international buyers

“As a country we have faced many difficulties over the last few years. Now this is the time to reflect and ensure that local women can contribute and progress to be on par with international entrepreneurs She also noted that this award ceremony is a great opportunity for all since it’s an absolutely empowering platform. “You hear success stories of women from different walks of life and it’s very empowering and inspiring. I’m sure that the younger generation of women who will watch the ceremony wii be inspired to be sucessful entrepreneurs in the future S

“Our women entrepreneurs have the potential to help our economy to grow. They have made vast strides to build companies on a set of values and they have created diverse working environments.

The WCIC Prathibhabisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards will be held in January 22. To the question how financial records of small businesses headed by women could deter their ability to apply the chairperson said.

“We have a startup category which is under five years where they can submit documents for consideration. She responded “These women can apply but must submit proper records to back their applications or else they will be rejected wholeheartedly.The Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022

“Prathibha” depicts excellence in Sanskrit and WCIC will showcase the excellence of outstanding women entrepreneurs through WCIC Prathibhabisheka –

“The relaunched property is structured to assess the businesses in a holistic manner. We invite outstanding women entrepreneurs, especially the ones who have braved the challenges in the past years to share their story of resilience and achievements to compete for the coveted – WCIC Prathibhabisheka The Awards will honour women entrepreneurs for their tenacity to scale and grow, and for their contribution and impact on the economy. Whilst the competition is primarily for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs, we have also included an opportunity for women in the SAARC region to compete in a special category” stated Anoji De Silva, the Chairperson of the WCIC.

The members of WCIC Ramani Ponnambalam and Tusitha Kumarakul-asingam, said”. We will be accepting applications under the categories – Start-up, Micro, Small, Medium and Large. Each category will have a specified revenue for the year under review – 2021/22. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be presented for each category. With the view to identify and promote regional women entrepreneurs, we will encourage applications from all the provinces in the country and select the “Best of the Region” from each province.

The women will also be considered for the coveted special awards – Young Woman Entrepreneur, Outstanding Start- up, Most Positively Abled Woman Entrepreneur, The Most Outstanding Export Oriented Entrepreneur, The Best of the SAARC Region. The ceremony will culminate with the selection of the “Women Entrepreneur of the year -2022”.

“The entry kit can be downloaded from www.wcicsl.lk and completed and submitted to the WCIC along with all the material required to substantiate the applicant’s story. Entries close on the 31st of October.” stated Tusitha Kumarak-ulasingam.

WCIC Prathibabisheka – Woman Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by– DFCC Aloka, as the Platinum Sponsor, with Gold Sponsors – Mclarens Group, LOLL Holdings Plc, Hayleys Leisure Pic, and AIA Insurance Lanka Ltd (Exclusive Insurance Partner), Silver – Finez Capital Ventures Print and Social Media Partners will be the Wijeya Group and Electronic Media Partner–ABC Network with Triad as our Creative Partner and Ernst & Young as Knowledge Partner.

Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) is the premier organization supporting entrepreneurs and professional business-women. The membership is open to women who believe they can contribute to society as well as benefit from the many facilities the organization creates. WCIC Prathibhasheka is relaunched this year as a flagship property, to recognize and reward outstanding women enterpreneurs who make a contribution to the SL economy.

For further information Contact- Janitha Stephens – 0766848080

Continue Reading

Features

Marmalade sandwich in Queen’s handbag!

Published

on

In this period of national mourning, it may seem frivolous to comment on the late Queen’s handbag. After seven decades of selfless service to the nation, fashion is but a footnote to Her Majesty’s glorious reign.And yet her style is something that helped to create the powerful majestic image of Queen Elizabeth II, and which made her instantly recognisable worldwide. A key part of that image, and a constant presence in her working life, was her black Launer handbag.

Launer London was Her Majesty’s handbag maker for more than 50 years and has held the Royal Warrant since 1968. Launer bags are formal and structured, and proved to be the ideal regal accessory for public engagements. Its first royal patronage came from HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in the 1950s. Where others might have bought the latest ‘It’ bag, Queen Elizabeth exercised characteristic restraint with her handbags throughout her life, focusing on quality over quantity in her loyalty to Launer.

Her Majesty was known for her love of colour in her working wardrobe, wearing rainbow brights in order to be better seen by the public, but her accessories were always muted. Black mostly, sometimes beige or white in summer, gold or silver in the evening: neutrals that matched with every colour, allowing her to dress with ease. The timeless style of her trusty Traviata top-handle bag suited the Queen’s no-nonsense nature and symbolised her steadfast reign. The late Baroness Thatcher shared the Queen’s love of a strong top handle from classic British labels such as Launer and Asprey. These bags helped promote a look of someone in control. Like Queen Elizabeth, Thatcher’s handbags were such a part of her identity that they have earned their own special place in history and have been described as the former PM’s ‘secret weapon’. One such bag has been exhibited at the V&A alongside Sir Winston Churchill’s red despatch box. Both are artefacts of cultural and historic importance.

It has been said that there was another purpose to the Queen’s handbag on public engagements, namely that she used it as a secret signalling device. According to royal historian Hugo Vickers, Her Majesty would switch the bag from her left arm to her right to signal for an aide to come to her rescue if she tired of the conversation in which she was engaged. If she placed the bag on the table, this was a sign that she wanted to leave. Ever-practical, HM needed a bag that focused on functionality over fashion, choosing styles with slightly longer top handles that comfortably looped over the monarch’s arm, freeing her hands to accept bouquets and greet the public. Even in her final photograph, meeting her 15th prime minister in her sitting room at Balmoral Castle, just two days before her death last week, the Queen’s handbag can be seen on her left arm. Perhaps at this stage it was part armour, part comfort blanket.Even at the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth II did not lose her ability to surprise. She delighted the public by taking tea with Paddington Bear at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations and finally revealed what she keeps in her handbag: a marmalade sandwich, ‘for later’.

Continue Reading

Features

Cinnamon Grand, Colombo welcomes You to the SEQUEL

Published

on

The next best thing in Colombo!

What would you get if you took the decadence of yesterday and paired it with the flavours of right now? Something bold and jazzy or rich and snazzy. Something we’d like to call the next best thing. All this and more at Cinnamon City Hotels to the SEQUEL at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo said a press release.

The release said the SEQUEL is where the old meets new, where charm meets sophistication and having a good time gets a new meaning. Colombo’s latest speakeasy cocktail bar is ready to welcome the discerning guest that is looking for that perfectly curated night.

“The SEQUEL will be a novel addition to Colombo’s nightlife catered to enthralling guests with our performances and showmanship,” said Kamal Munasinghe, Area Vice-President, Cinnamon City Hotels.

What do we mean when we say performance? It means that every little detail is tailored to those who appreciate elegance, and a bespoke experience like no other. Think walking into a vintage space accompanied by the sounds of Sinatra and Fitzgerald inviting you to do it your way or for once in your life. Think of the soul-searching and eclectic mix of Winehouse classics that you can drown your sorrows in.

Continue Reading

Trending