US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that Russian threats to use nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine put the world at risk of an "apocalypse", for the first time since the Cuban missile crisis in the middle of the war.
“First time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have a direct threat of the use (of a) nuclear weapon if in fact things continue down the path they are going,” Biden warned during remarks at a Democratic fundraiser in New York where he was introduced by James Murdoch, the youngest son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, according to the pool report.
He added: “I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily (use) a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon”. “I’m trying to figure out what is Putin’s off ramp?” Biden said during the event, “Where does he find a way out? Where does he find himself in a position that he does not not only lose face but lose significant power within Russia?”
US has not detected preparations for a nuclear strike.
“This nuclear saber rattling is reckless and irresponsible,” Pentagon spokesperson Brig.
Gen. Pat Ryder said earlier Thursday. “As I’ve mentioned before, at this stage, we do not have any information to cause us to change our strategic deterrence posture, and we don’t assess that President Putin has made a decision to use nuclear weapons at this time”.
While there is no question Russia’s nuclear posture is being taken seriously, this official said the President’s language at a fundraiser tonight caught other officials across the government off guard. “Nothing was detected today that reflected an escalation,” the official said, who went on to defend Biden’s remarks because of the ongoing gravity of the matter.
“We’ve got a guy I know fairly well,” Biden said of Putin Thursday. “He’s not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly under-performing”.