Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on NATO to launch preemptive strikes against Russia, rather than wait for Moscow to use nuclear weapons first.
Speaking at the Lowy Institute in Australia via videolink, Zelensky said that he would like the North Atlantic Alliance to revise the procedure for applying its pressure on Russia.
"Preemptive strikes [on Russia] so they know what will happen to them if they use them [nuclear weapons]. And not vice versa — wait for Russia to conduct a nuclear attack first and then say: "So there, take that from us!" Zelensky said.
Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that with a statement like that, Zelensky was calling to start a world war. Peskov urged all countries of the world to pay attention to Zelensky's rhetoric about preventive strikes against Russia. In addition, it is the United States and Great Britain that should be responsible for what Zelensky says, because it is them who guide Kyiv, Peskov added.
Maria Zakharova, an official representative for the Russian Foreign Ministry, expressed a similar point of view. The West is fueling a nuclear war at the hands of Zelensky, she said.
"Every person on the planet should realise that the arms-piled unbalanced puppet character named Zelensky has turned into a monster whose hands can destroy the planet," Maria Zakharova said.
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, was more eloquent in his comments. Medvedev called the Ukrainian leader an idiot and advised psychiatrists to give Zelensky a preventive craniotomy. "Until he brings even more trouble to his people and everyone else,” Medvedev wrote.
The United Nations also commented on Zelensky's remarks about a preventive strike on Russia. Stephane Dujarric, an official representative for the UN Secretary General, pointed out that even mere discussions about a nuclear conflict were unacceptable.
"As for any comments regarding the use of nuclear weapons, I would like to refer you to what the Secretary General has already said on this subject. His position has not changed,” Dujarric said.
Interestingly, Zelensky's press secretary Sergei Nikiforov said that the Ukrainian president did not call to use nuclear weapons against Russia.
"Colleagues, you went a little too far with your nuclear hysteria and now you hear nuclear strikes even where there are none,” he wrote on his Facebook* page. Nikiforov explained that Zelensky meant preventive sanctions that had to be imposed on Russia before February 24.
*a social network banned in the Russian Federation; owned by Meta Corporation — recognized as extremist and banned in the Russian Federation
After the retreat of the Russian Armed Forces, it appears that the long-awaited success in the liberation of the Donetsk People's Republic is coming: Russia will soon take the city of Bakhmut