No signs Russia prepares to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine — US official

A carnival figure of dictator Vladimir Putin eats a piece of Ukraine with the inscription
A carnival figure of dictator Vladimir Putin eats a piece of Ukraine with the inscription "Choke on this"

The United States sees no signs that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Reuters reported on March 13, citing an unnamed U.S. official.

Read also: Russia can start ground invasion of NATO countries without using nuclear weapons – Zelenskyy

According to the source, Washington also sees no reason to adjust its nuclear stance after recent comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Moscow’s long-standing nuclear doctrine.

The Kremlin leader previously stated that if U.S. troops were to be deployed to Ukraine, Russia would "treat them as aggressors." Putin claiming that Russia "cannot be defeated on the battlefield," a realization he suggests the West has come to understand.

Meanwhile, the U.S. official said the dictator, "appears to be repeating Russia's nuclear doctrine," under which they would use nuclear weapons if their sovereignty is threatened.

Additionally, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson stated that "Russia's nuclear rhetoric has been reckless and irresponsible throughout this conflict."

Read also: EU Council allows release of frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine’s recovery

"It is Russia that brutally invaded Ukraine without provocation or justification, and we will continue to support Ukraine as they defend their people and their sovereign territory from Russian aggression," Watson said.

Read also: Türkiye and US discuss ways to end Russian aggression in Ukraine

On March 9, CNN analyst Jim Sciutto, who spoke with two senior White House officials, said that in late 2022, the United States had begun preparing for the possibility that Russia might strike Ukraine with nuclear weapons.

Read also: Russia ‘ready for nuclear war from military and technical point of view,’ says Russian dictator

According to them, Washington was particularly concerned at that time that Russia could employ strategic or tactical nuclear weapons. The outlet reports that the level of planning was “unprecedented.”

The New York Times also reported that for several weeks in October 2022, President Joe Biden's administration was “seriously worried” about the possibility that Russia could deploy nuclear weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine.

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