Putin could detonate a nuclear weapon off the coast of Denmark as a show of strength, warns Moscow analyst

A world leader impossible to predict, concurs BBC article that suggests Putin could resort to such actions should Russia buckle under economic sanctions

Four years ago this week, western Europe was hit by the Beast from the East.

Today it finds itself in the firing line of a ‘Blast from the Past’, according to the BBC.

In an article published at approximately 3 am CET, the BBC warns that Russia could potentially detonate a nuclear weapon off the coast of Denmark to demonstrate its power.

Such an action would be devastating for Denmark and the other countries with shorelines bordering the North Sea, the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean.

READ MORE: How to help Ukraine in Denmark

Somewhere between Britain and Denmark
Since the early 1990s, Moscow-based Pavel Felgenhauer has been one of the world’s leading experts on Russia’s political and military leadership.

Over the weekend he told the BBC that Russian President Vladimir Putin is in a “tight spot” and that this could have terrible consequences for Denmark.

“He doesn’t have many options left, once the West freezes the assets of the Russian central bank and Russia’s financial system actually implodes. That will make the system unworkable,” he reasoned.

“One option for him is to cut gas supplies to Europe, hoping that will make the Europeans climb down. Another option is to explode a nuclear weapon somewhere over the North Sea between Britain and Denmark and see what happens.”

In such a situation, contends Felgenhauer, nobody from Putin’s inner circle would stand up against him.

Impossible to predict Putin
The BBC article, with the headline ‘Ukraine invasion: Would Putin press the nuclear button?’, does not make easy reading.

The author, uncharacteristically for such an article perhaps, starts the piece in the first person – it underlines the seriousness of its nature.

“Let me begin with an admission. So many times, I’ve thought: ‘Putin would never do this.’ Then he goes and does it,” he writes.

“‘He’d never annex Crimea, surely?’ He did. ‘He’d never start a war in the Donbas.’ He did. ‘He’d never launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.’ He has. I’ve concluded that the phrase ‘would never do’ doesn’t apply to Vladimir Putin. And that raises an uncomfortable question: ‘He’d never press the nuclear button first. Would he?’”

READ MORE: Ukraine’s ambassador to Denmark calls for help from both citizens and officials

Nuclear capability already on special alert
Over the weekend, Putin put his country’s nuclear forces on ‘special alert’, citing the aggressive tone of various NATO leaders.

Certainly, both the Danish PM Mette Frederiksen and foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, have been particularly vocal in their condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on the morning of February 24.

As things stand, the outcome of the invasion is uncertain, as media reports suggest that Ukraine is standing up to the onslaught commendably. 

Meanwhile, NATO nations and others are busy imposing economic sanctions on Russia.

READ MORE: Denmark to close down airspace to Russian aircraft

World without Russia unthinkable to its leader
As the BBC article suggests, it’s hard to predict how Putin will react.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, he said: “To anyone who would consider interfering from the outside – if you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history.”

And in a documentary in 2018, he appeared to suggest he would be happy for the world to cease to exist should Russia be phased out.

“If someone decides to annihilate Russia, we have the legal right to respond. Yes, it will be a catastrophe for humanity and for the world. But I’m a citizen of Russia and its head of state. Why do we need a world without Russia in it?” he said.

These are worrying times, indeed.