Headline RoundupOctober 7th, 2022

Biden Says Putin 'Not Joking' About Using Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine

AllSides Summary

President Joe Biden said Thursday that threats of Russia using nuclear weapons in Ukraine should be taken seriously.

Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "not joking when he talks about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons" because Russia's military is "significantly underperforming." Biden added that Americans "have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis."

In response to mounting losses and a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive, Putin ordered a partial mobilization and moved to annex Russian-backed separatist regions of Ukraine. He also said last month that "If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff."

Reports across the political spectrum highlighted Biden's comments. Some reports from right-rated sources, such as The Epoch Times, said Biden's remarks appear "to be at odds with both the U.S. Intelligence Community and previous statements made by the White House." Conversely, some left-rated sources, such as CBS News, said "U.S. officials have warned for months of the prospect that Russia could use weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine." Earlier this week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said "We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have indication that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons."

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