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Russia raised the spectre of nuclear war this week as it struggles to make headway in Ukraine. How seriously should this threat be taken and can Vladimir Putin rely on his friendship with China’s Xi Jinping? Gideon discusses these questions with US political scientist Graham Allison, author of the classic study of the Cuban missile crisis, ‘Essence of Decision’, and of a book on US-China relations, ‘Destined for War’.

Clips: ABC, Bloomberg

Want to read more?

‘At war with the whole world’: why Putin might be planning a long conflict in Ukraine

Biden, Putin and the danger of Versailles

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in maps 

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Presented by Gideon Rachman. Produced by Fiona Symon. Sound design by Jasiu Sigsworth

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