Russia may deploy nuclear weapons to protect itself in the Ukraine conflict that started last February.
In a Thursday press conference, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed Russia may deploy nuclear weapons in extreme conditions.
Russia's nuclear deterrent is defensive. "Extraordinary circumstances within the framework of strictly defensive purposes limit the hypothetical use of nuclear weapons," she told Russian news outlet Tass.
"There are no winners," Zakharova said. Never release it.
Russian state TV has routinely addressed nuclear weapons, although experts believed President Vladimir Putin would use them and questioned their strategic significance.
The Russian foreign ministry spokesperson also suggested that Russia would lift its suspension of the 2010 New Strategic Weapons Reduction Treaty (START), a 10-year nuclear weapons limitation agreement with the U.S.
As Russia fights Ukraine, which has started its long-awaited counteroffensive to reclaim its lands, the warning of nuclear weapons arrives.