US President Joe Biden warns that the world is facing the prospect of an ‘Armageddon’ for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, saying that Vladimir Putin is ‘deadly serious’ about using tactical nuclear weapons.
Mr Biden said he had ‘got to know’ the Russian leader ‘pretty well’ and that he is ‘not joking’ when he speaks about using weapons of mass destruction after suffering setbacks in the war.
Speaking at a fundraising event for the Democrats inside the New York house of James Murdoch, the son of Rupert, his ‘off camera’ comments were overheard by journalists.
It comes after fears that Putin is backed into a corner and could use nukes to regain power after suffering setbacks on the battlefield.
Biden said: “We’ve got a guy I know fairly well, he’s not joking when he talks about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons of biological or chemical weapons because his military is – you might say – significantly underperforming.
“First time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have a direct threat of the use nuclear weapon if in fact things continue down the path they are going,” he said.
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis.”
During a speech last Friday, the Russian leader said the US had created a “precedent” by using nuclear weapons against Japan at the end of World War Two.
Mr Putin has also threatened to use every means at his disposal to protect Russian territory.
Ukraine has been making significant gains in recent weeks, reoccupying territory taken by Russia during the invasion which started on February 24. This includes the four areas recently annexed by illegal referendums.
Both the US and the EU have previously said that Putin’s threats should be taken seriously when it comes to nuclear weapons.
However, last week the US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that despite the hints, the US had seen ‘no signs’ that Russia was imminently preparing to use a nuclear weapon.
Source: With Agencies