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Home World News Washington Post World News Biden Suggests Putin’s Nuclear Threats Mean ‘Armageddon Prospect’

Biden Suggests Putin’s Nuclear Threats Mean ‘Armageddon Prospect’

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President Biden warned on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons represented the most serious “armageddon prospect” in 60 years.

Biden’s comments came during a Democratic fundraiser in New York City, where he spent much of the time warning about threats he believes were being made by Republicans, as well as Putin’s and Russia’s war against Ukraine. The president told those in attendance that he knows Putin “fairly well” and said the Russian president was “not joking when talking about possible use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”

He added: “Since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have not faced the prospect of Armageddon. I don’t think there is such a thing as the ability to easily [use] a tactical nuclear weapon and not end with Armageddon.” In 1962, President John F. Kennedy confronted Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev over missiles the Soviets were building in Cuba, a standoff that many feared could lead to nuclear war.

Biden added: “We are trying to figure out, what is Putin’s exit? Where does he find a way out? Where does he find himself where he loses not only face but also considerable power?”

The comments come about a week after Putin staged mock referendums and illegally annexed areas in southern and eastern Ukraine, declaring that the people living there “would be our citizens forever.”

Since his invasion of Ukraine, Putin has issued several threats over the use of nuclear weapons, especially as Russia’s military prospects have deteriorated. In recent weeks, Putin has had to order a partial military mobilization to call up as many as 300,000 reservists, while Ukrainian forces have recaptured territory on the eastern and southern fronts.

In a fiery speech last Friday at the ceremony to formally annex Ukrainian territories — a move widely condemned as illegal — Putin warned that the United States had “set a precedent” when it used nuclear weapons against Japan in 1945.

A few weeks earlier, in a televised address on September 21, Putin stated: “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will no doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff.”

Analysis: Why Putin’s Threats Could Be More Than A bluff

Biden condemned those comments in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York that same day.

“Just today, President Putin has openly made nuclear threats against Europe, in a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime,” Biden said. “A nuclear war cannot be won. And there should never be a fight.”

Biden’s language was even more grim on Thursday, when he warned of an apocalypse if Putin follows through with his threats, which Biden said was a real possibility.

For the “first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have the threat of a nuclear weapon, if things actually continue on their path,” Biden said.



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