German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz stated that the risk of Russian nuclear escalation is currently low, partially supporting ISW’s previous assessments. Scholtz stated that “Russia stopped threatening to use nuclear weapons” because an international "red line” contributed to "putting a stop" to Russian nuclear escalation threats on December 8. ISW has always assessed that Russian nuclear escalation in Ukraine was unlikely. Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated Russia’s official position on nuclear weapons, including Russia’s non-first-use policy, on December 7. Both Scholtz’s and Putin’s statements support ISW’s previous assessment that while Russian officials may engage in forms of nuclear saber-rattling as part of an information operation meant to undermine Western support for Ukraine, Russian officials have no intention of actually using them on the battlefield.
Click here to see ISW's Interactive Map. This map complements the static control-of-terrain maps that ISW daily produces with high-fidelity and, where possible, street-level assessments of the war in Ukraine.