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UVA Miller Center talks nuclear escalation

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 4:42 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The world is on high alert following threats Russia has made towards using nuclear weapons as a result of its military invasion of Ukraine.

“The risk of nuclear escalation is very small,” University of Virginia Professor of Politics Todd Sechser said Friday, March 4.

Sechser says just because the risk is low right now, doesn’t mean it will remain that way.

“Russia didn’t seem to be moving any of its nuclear forces or increasing its readiness on the ground to use nuclear weapons,” Sechser said.

He says Russia has made three recent threats that warned of the potential for escalation, but there’s one main factor that could prevent tensions from boiling over:

“As long as NATO countries don’t become directly engaged in combat with Russian forces, I would say the risk of nuclear weapons is extremely small,” Sechser said.

But that doesn’t mean the world shouldn’t pay attention to the moves Russia is making.

“Taking cautious and deliberate actions, I think, will help cooler heads prevail and reduce the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding that could lead inadvertently to escalation,” Sechser said.

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