The U.S. warned Russia that it would “respond decisively” if the Kremlin deploys nuclear weapons in its invasion of Ukraine, and that “catastrophic consequences” would be the result for Russia.
U.S. warns Russia there will be "catastrophic" consequences if Moscow uses nuclear weapons after setbacks in its war in Ukraine. https://t.co/uzpkVV8BGK
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 26, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to use rhetoric that threatens the use of nuclear weapons as his country is in the midst of an invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
As Putin continues to face some domestic backlash about the invasion as well as a very determined Ukrainian army intent on protecting its country, he resorts more and more to nuclear threats. With Putin facing potential defeat on the battlefield, many fear that nuclear weapons are the only way for him to save face.
It is with this backdrop that President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, warned Russia of the consequences the country would face. According to the New York Times Sullivan added, “that in recent days the United States has ‘spelled out’ how the world would react in private conversations with Russian officials.”
It is important to note that American intelligence officials have not seen any sign of mobilization in Russia’s nuclear stockpile. The Russians have an estimated 2,000 small tactical nuclear weapons that could be launched from short or medium range.
Sullivan would not elaborate on how the U.S. would react, just noting that in private conversations they have let Russia know, in greater detail, what to expect.
It was not the first time the word “catastrophic” has been used to describe how the U.S. would respond to a deployment of nuclear weapons by Russia. In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken used the same word.
“It’s very important that Moscow hear from us and know from us that the consequences would be horrific, and we’ve made that very clear,” Blinken said, adding that the U.S. response would be “catastrophic.”
While there has been no movement in Russia’s nuclear arsenal, when Putin said he would “use all the means at our disposal,” it was clear that he was speaking of his nuclear arsenal. He also closed by saying, “It’s not a bluff.”