Russia’s military doctrine continues to adhere to the “first strike” principle. Namely, Moscow will not shy away from using its nuclear weapons, if it judges it to be in its interest and it has a chance to annihilate its target with impunity. It is mischievous, however, to claim that this is imminent. The Kremlin’s first strike would have to be most certainly within the context of a major war to justify the horror. For now, at least, and save a major war, Putin’s nuclear saber remains useful mainly for rattling. And rattle it he does. During the previous Zapad-9 and Zapad-13 exercises, the Russians dry-practiced a nuclear attack on Poland. Unsurprisingly, this time around, the Ukrainians have charged that the Red Army drilled with nukes aimed at Kiyv.