Putin has several 'grisly' options before turning to nuclear weapons, warns Michael Gove

7 March 2022, 18:21 | Updated: 7 March 2022, 19:58

Tonight With Andrew Marr, on LBC.
Tonight With Andrew Marr, on LBC. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Michael Gove has told LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr that Vladimir Putin has a number of "grisly" options at his disposal before he turns to using nuclear weapons against Ukraine, but warns he will "stop at almost nothing".

"His army has faced a much tougher level of resistance than it was clear he had anticipated," the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities exclusively told Tonight with Andrew Marr.

"It's also the case that he has a number of other options, all grisly, that he has at his disposal, before he ever goes anywhere near the use of tactical nuclear weapons."

Read more: Gove: Ukraine invasion is 'biggest foreign policy and economic event since 9/11'

He warned Putin will "stop at almost nothing".

Watch Tonight with Andrew Marr exclusively on Global Player every  Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 7pm https://www.globalplayer.com/live/lbc/uk/

"When Putin threatens nuclear war, uses that blood-curdling language, should we take him seriously?" Andrew Marr pressed the minister.

"I think we have to take very seriously the threat Putin imposes, but I think none of us should imagine that he is going to immediately escalate to nuclear warfare," Mr Gove replied.

"There are many more steps and thresholds before we ever get anywhere near there. But we do need to bear in mind that Russia has a nuclear armed power."

He described the war as a "hinge moment" which will lead to "real cost of living challenges".

During his exclusive interview on Tonight with Andrew Marr, Mr Gove also warned Russia's invasion of Ukraine is "undoubtedly the biggest foreign policy and economic event since at least 9/11".

He said: "You can't contemplate the land invasion of one European country by another with the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War without thinking that this is a hinge moment.

"It's sometimes the case that people draw early lessons when there's a big change that are subsequently refined by events.

"There may be some things that are small factors in people's minds now that grow, other instant takes that may prove to be a little too instant.

"It is undoubtedly the biggest foreign policy and economic event at least since 9/11."