Wednesday night UK news briefing: Joe Biden condemns Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats


A Putin propagandist threatened London with a nuclear attack in a fiery radio interview the morning after the Russian president’s speech.

Sergei Markov, a former member of the Russian State Duma and close adviser to Putin, told listeners of the TBEN’s Today program that the president has made “clear” that he will be ready to deploy his arsenal against Western countries, including “against the Great Britain”.

Dominic Nicholls explains why the West should be willing to call Putin’s nuclear bluff as he struggles to keep Russia’s ultra-right on its side.

Senior Conservative Member of Parliament Tobias Ellwood says Putin cannot afford to lose and that we must be ready to make the war in Ukraine even uglier.

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‘Trickle down’

Mr Biden’s speech to the UN came ahead of his first official meeting with Liz Truss.

The prime minister could face a difficult meeting after the president mocked her differing ideas on economic policy as “trickle-down economics”, saying on Twitter that they “never work”.

Ms Truss has also admitted that a trade deal with the US is years away, but James Crisp analyzes why exclusion makes her hand stronger in post-Brexit conversations.

In the meantime, Andrew Lilico outlines why its tax-cutting agenda has nothing to do with alleged allegiance to the seeping economy.

Markets tumble

Economics won’t be what Putin wants to hear about today, after Russia’s stock market collapsed following his warning to the West that he is willing to use nuclear weapons.

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The Russian president’s belligerent warning sent the Moscow stock market’s MOEX index plummeting by as much as 10 percent, marking the second day in a row of major losses.

However, the escalation also caused shockwaves in the gas markets, with the European benchmark price jumping 8 percent higher to around €210 per megawatt hour.

Read how it also weakened sterling and the euro.

Commentary and analysis

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Rebels in northern Ethiopia have warned that Eritrea has launched a large-scale offensive against them, in a major escalation of the bloody two-year conflict. In a Twitter post, a spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front said heavy fighting is taking place at several points along the border between Tigray, a region in northern Ethiopia, and Eritrea. While it is difficult to confirm military maneuvers due to a communications breakdown in Tigray, the US special envoy to the Horn of Africa has said they have been “monitoring” the movements of Eritrean troops across the border. If Eritrea is part of the civil war again, learn why it will have devastating consequences for millions of people in urgent need of humanitarian aid and likely to lead to war crimes.

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