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Luisa Vieira

Will Putin drop a nuke on Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin isn't exactly losing the war in Ukraine, but he's definitely not winning it either.

Although Russia has more territory now than before the invasion, things aren't going well. Putin has had to call up reservists, his annexation of four Ukrainian regions was immediately challenged, and he's on the hook now for selling to the Russian people the idea that they are at war with NATO and the West.

Putin's push to win at all costs might soon force him to make one very serious and potentially scary choice. He needs to land a big blow, so what bigger blow than the biggest of them all: nuclear weapons. Russia's president has already hinted at the possibility, while Washington and NATO are sorting through what they might do in response.

Let's look at why he might, or might not, pull the trigger to launch what is known as a tactical nuke, a low-yield atomic warhead designed to take out military targets, not entire cities.

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