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Why game theory cannot resolve Russia's nuclear threats over Ukraine

Technology has paradoxically made it easier for Putin to push the big red button

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When Russia tested its nuclear-capable Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile last week - one that President Vladimir Putin said will make foes "think twice" - it raised the spectre of Mr Putin pushing the big red button. He had, after all, warned about putting Russian nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.

Also rattling his sabre on Tuesday was Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who warned of a "serious" risk of nuclear war - rhetoric which was blasted by US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin as "very dangerous and unhelpful", shortly after his visit to Kyiv.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2022, with the headline Why game theory cannot resolve Russia's nuclear threats over Ukraine. Subscribe