BBC Question Time: Panellist warns Putin would 100 percent use nuclear weapons if pushed

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The BBC’s flagship political debate programme featured Russian-British comedian and social commentator Konstantin Kisin during yesterday’s episode in Norwich. Mr Kisin, who has 295,000 YouTube subscribers on the Triggernometry podcast, was asked by audience member Mike Channon: “If pushed, do you think Putin will use nuclear weapons?”

Mr Kisin, who had previously stated: “As I sit here tonight, I feel nothing but shame for my country”, immediately responded by saying: “100 percent. 

“Of course, if pushed, yes.”

He added: “if he feels that his life is on the line of course he would use nuclear weapons.”

Former Moscow correspondent and diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall met President Vladimir Putin little over two decades ago and noted the apparent change in his character.

“I’m not sure the man I met, which was 2001 and 2006, you know a while ago, is quite the man that is in charge now because I never thought that he would do what he’s done in the last two weeks.

“I thought he was more rational than that. So that’s not very encouraging, is it?”

She concluded: “If he’s not very rational then maybe he would press the button, but I think that there would be people around him who would think ‘he’s crazy we’ve got to stop him’.”

Mr Kisin engaged in a heated debate with Ms Kendall after she disagreed with his adamant thought that Putin would push the button after noting that “human life has a very different value in Russia than it does in the West I’m afraid”.

He added that the “individual is less sacrosanct” historically and that Russia has proven this view with the example Mr Kisin used of Soviet soldiers in Berlin, who defeated the Nazis and are “heroes” but are buried in mass graves”.

Ms Kendall quipped back that the idea of self-preservation above all else does not apply to nuclear weapons as “using nuclear weapons is also a self-destruct button because it doesn’t stop there”.

Another audience member continued the discussion of nuclear warfare, asking the panel if Putin’s “high-alert order makes a launch more likely?”

Former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt aimed to dispel fears surrounding nuclear warfare.

Ms Mordaunt urged the audience to not be afraid when hearing about nuclear weapons and nuclear war when hearing it on the news.

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he said: “The deterrent, the clue is in the name, works. 

“It has seen us through some very difficult times.

“We use it every single hour of every single day and we have done so for the last 50 years.

“The consequences of launching a first strike are so terrible that is why people don’t do it.”

She concluded: “We think that the things he has said are not leading that way and my message to you is don’t be afraid.”

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