The Kremlin again raised the spectre of the use of nuclear weapons in the war with Ukraine as Russian forces had a hard time to hold a crucial city in the south of the nation.Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president who is deputy chairman of the nation's security council, said Moscow could strike against an opponent that only used traditional weapons while Vladimir Putin's defence minster declared nuclear "readiness" was a concern.
The talk about Saturday prompted Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in an appearance by video link at Qatar's Doha Forum to warn that Moscow was a direct threat to the world.
" Russia is deliberating bragging they can destroy with nuclear weapons, not only a particular country however the whole planet," Zelenskiy said.
Putin established the nuclear threat at the start of the war, warning that western intervention would reap "consequences you have never ever seen".
Western officials have stated the threats may be simply an effort to divert attention from the failure of Putin's forces to secure a speedy occupation of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and to make advances in other essential areas of the nation.
An advisor to Ukraine's defence ministry, Markian Lubkivskyi, declared on Saturday that Russia would soon lose control of the southern city of Kherson, the very first significant centre to fall to the Kremlin since the war began on 24 February.
He said: "I believe that today the city will be totally under the control of Ukrainian armed forces. We have ended up in the last 2 days the operation in the Kyiv region so other militaries are now concentrated on the southern part attempting to get free Kherson and some other Ukrainian cities."
Russia has around 6,000 nuclear warheads-- the biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons worldwide. In an interview on Saturday, Medvedev stated Russia's nuclear teaching did not require an enemy state to use such weapons initially.
He said: "We have a special document on nuclear deterrence. This file clearly shows the grounds on which the Russian Federation is entitled to use nuclear weapons. There are a few of them, let me advise them to you:
" Number one is the circumstance, when Russia is struck by a nuclear missile. The 2nd case is any use of other nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies.
" The third is an attack on a critical infrastructure that will have paralysed our nuclear deterrent forces.
" And the 4th case is when an act of aggressiveness is devoted against Russia and its allies, which jeopardised the existence of the country itself, even without the use of nuclear weapons, that is, with making use of standard weapons."
Medvedev added that there was a "determination to defend the independence, sovereignty of our nation, not to give anyone a reason to question even the slightest that we are ready to offer a worthy response to any violation on our nation, on its independence".
Russia's defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, who had not been seen for 12 days before a brief appearance on Friday and an address to his generals on Saturday, also spoke about the nuclear threat consisted of within Russia's toolbox.
In a video, uploaded on social media by the Russian defence ministry, Shoigu stated he had gone over problems related to the military spending plan and defence orders with the finance ministry.
He said: "We continue ahead-of-schedule delivery of weaponry and equipment by means of credits. The concerns are long-range, high-precision weapons, aircraft equipment and upkeep of engagement readiness of strategic nuclear forces."