Preemptive Strikes On Russia Requested

( news reports ran breathless headlines claiming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was calling on NATO to launch preemptive attacks on Russia, Ukrainian officials were forced to step in and clarified Zelensky’s comments.

It all kicked off during a virtual address to the Lowy Institute last Thursday when Zelensky had been asked what the international community could do to help prevent Russia from launching a nuclear strike on Ukraine.

In answering the question, Zelensky said NATO could “make it impossible for Russia to use nuclear weapons.”

Zelensky added that, as he did when Russia first invaded his country, he was once again calling on the international community “to do preventative strikes” so Russia will know what awaits it if Moscow uses nuclear weapons.

He suggested that the West not wait until after Russia uses nukes as this would only further escalate the conflict. Instead, Zelensky said, NATO should not only “reconsider applying pressure” but also reconsider in what order that pressure is applied.

Unsurprisingly, news outlets replaced “preventative” with “preemptive” and all hell broke loose, with headlines screaming that Zelensky wanted NATO to launch preemptive strikes on Russia.

This prompted a quick response from the Kremlin which seized on the headlines to accuse Zelensky of being the one who is threatening nuclear war.

Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry claimed Zelensky’s remarks were tantamount to calling for nuclear war.

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov accused Zelensky of issuing “a call to start a world war with unpredictable and horrific consequences.”

Finally, a spokesperson for President Zelensky, Serhii Nykyforov, was forced to explain that the Ukrainian president was merely calling for NATO to impose preventative sanctions on Russia as a way to deter the use of nuclear weapons.

Of course, by the time Nykyforov issued a “clarification,” it was too late to put the genie back into the bottle.

The “Zelensky Calls on NATO to Launch Preemptive Strikes on Russia” narrative had already traveled across the globe.