“This war is about ending Ukraine’s right to exist as a state and the Ukrainian people’s right to exist as a people,” Biden said, calling the attack a U.N. terming it a direct attack on the order based on the rule by said.
“It will make your blood run cold,” he added.
Putin’s announcement of a partial national mobilization is being seen outside of Russia as an acknowledgment of the failure of his Ukraine operation and growing domestic political pressure. But the upcoming referendum in the occupied Ukrainian territory on joining Russia, which the West has described as a sham, has pushed the war into a tense new phase.
If these territories are annexed by Russia, attacks by Ukraine using Western weapons on them could theoretically be interpreted as an attack on the Russian motherland.
This potentially makes Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory a significant addition.
The Russian leader is clearly trying to scare the Western public and force Washington and allied capitals to rethink their support for Ukraine, which has helped turn his invasion into such a disaster. .
Putin has been muttering about Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons. But then, maybe he isn’t.
John Miller, CNN’s chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, said the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency have spent years studying Putin’s psychology, including his obsessions with masculinity and looking tough. How these concerns can affect them if they start to look vulnerable.
“The use of nuclear weapons is the most serious strategic decision a world leader can make, but with a leader invested in Putin’s image, the decision has an emotional element,” Miller said. can.”
“So at this point, no one in the U.S. intelligence community is assessing the possibility of using a tactical nuclear weapon at zero,” Miller said.
Putin certainly has a history of taking risks. And Ukrainian generals and foreign military experts have expressed concern that, if encircled, Russian leaders could deploy limited tactical nuclear weapons as a show of force or to take out multiple assets or military units. can.
Miller said the most pressing question for the West now — and one that leaders at the U.N. General Assembly should discuss — is what to do about Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons.
“If such a weapon were to be deployed against the Ukrainians in a limited way, what would be the reaction from both NATO, the US and the world? There are still countries that would like to join sanctions and condemn Russia’s actions. Sitting on the fence. A tactical nuclear weapon mobilized the world against Putin? Miller said.
Miller added that although tactical nuclear weapons have a shorter blast radius and a more limited fallout than strategic warheads, launching even the most limited variety of such weapons would be “a huge game changer.”
“The key question right now is: do NATO and the US agree on what they will do in this situation and has it been conveyed to Russia through right-back channels?” he said.
And even if the nuclear poker stops now, Putin has already set a terrifying new precedent by citing Russia’s nuclear arsenal as leverage in a limited conflict. Other oppressive regimes and wannabe nuclear states are picking up the tips.
At a time when the idea of nuclear nonproliferation is under intense pressure, Biden warned: “A nuclear war cannot be won, and it must never be fought.”
Other presidents have often said the same. But he is the first American commander-in-chief in 40 years who must confront a full-scale nuclear showdown not as a theoretical possibility but as a real, if hopefully still remote, threat.