Biden says Putin’s nuclear menace brings threat of ‘Armageddon’ By Reuters

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© Reuters. Ukrainians experience an armoured automobile, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, in Donesk area, Ukraine, October 3 2022. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

By Nandita Bose and Pavel Polityuk

NEW YORK/KYIV (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s menace to make use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine has introduced the world nearer to “Armageddon” than at any time because the Chilly-Conflict Cuban Missile Disaster, U.S. President Joe Biden stated.

As Putin’s seven-month invasion unravels, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated Kyiv’s forces had been swiftly recapturing extra territory, together with greater than 500 sq km within the south the place they burst via a second main entrance this week.

Russia’s failings on the battlefield have introduced uncommon public recrimination from Kremlin allies, with one Russian-installed chief in occupied Ukrainian territory going as far as to recommend Putin’s defence minister ought to have shot himself.

Biden stated the prospect of defeat might make Putin, who was 70 on Friday, determined sufficient to make use of nuclear weapons, the largest threat since U.S. President John Kennedy and Soviet chief Nikita Khrushchev confronted off over missiles in Cuba in 1962.

“We now have not confronted the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile disaster,” Biden stated in New York. “For the primary time because the Cuban Missile Disaster, we now have a direct menace to the usage of nuclear weapons, if the truth is issues proceed down the trail they’d been going.”

Putin was “not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or organic or chemical weapons, as a result of his army is, you would possibly say, is considerably underperforming,” Biden stated.

Concern up to now has been over the prospect of Russia deploying a so-called “tactical” nuclear weapon – a short-range system to be used on the battlefield – quite than the “strategic” weapons on long-range missiles that Washington and Moscow have stockpiled because the Chilly Conflict.

However Biden prompt it made little distinction: “I do not suppose there’s any such factor as the power to simply (use) a tactical nuclear weapon and never find yourself with Armageddon.”

Putin has warned he would use all means crucial, together with Russia’s nuclear arsenal, to guard Russian soil, which he now says consists of 4 Ukrainian areas he declared annexed final week.

In remarks to Australia’s Lowy Institute, Zelenskiy stated NATO ought to launch preventive strikes on Russia to preclude its use of nuclear weapons.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced these feedback as “an enchantment to start out one more world battle with unpredictable, monstrous penalties”. Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov stated Zelenskiy’s remarks demonstrated why Russia was proper to launch its operation.


Putin signed a invoice this week annexing Ukraine’s Donestk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia areas, representing about 15% of the nation, though none is totally underneath Russian management.

Ukrainian forces have superior swiftly since bursting via the Russian entrance within the northeast firstly of September, and within the south this week.

Since Putin proclaimed the annexation every week in the past, Ukraine has recaptured the principle Russian bastion in northern Donetsk, and a swath of territory on the west financial institution of the Dnipro River in Kherson.

Zelenskiy stated in a video tackle on Thursday that Kyiv’s forces had recaptured greater than 500 sq. kilometres (195 sq. miles) and dozens of settlements in Kherson in October.

“There are successes within the east as effectively. The day will certainly come once we will report on successes within the Zaporizhzhia area (within the south) as effectively, in these areas that the occupiers nonetheless management,” the president stated.

Putin has responded to the losses by ordering the call-up of a whole lot of 1000’s of reservists, a transfer that despatched 1000’s of males fleeing the nation to flee the draft.

Public criticism of the authorities – as soon as all however extraordinary – has grow to be widespread, with Kremlin supporters brazenly in search of scapegoats and demanding punishment. Anger has been aimed toward Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, a Putin loyalist for many years.

“Many say, in the event that they had been a defence minister who had allowed such a state of affairs, they may, as officers, have shot themselves,” stated Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-installed administration in Kherson. “However the phrase ‘officer’ is an incomprehensible phrase for a lot of.”

There was no rapid remark from Russia’s defence ministry.

“Please clarify to me what the overall workers’s genius concept is now?” Vladimir Solovyov, probably the most outstanding Russian speak present hosts, stated on his channel. “Do you suppose time is on our aspect?”

Within the northeastern Kharkiv area the place Ukrainian forces regained a big swath of territory in September, the our bodies of 534 civilians together with 19 kids had been discovered after Russian troops left, stated police official Serhiy Bolvinov.

The full included 447 our bodies present in Izium. He additionally stated that investigators had discovered proof of twenty-two “torture rooms”. Russia denies torturing civilians in areas it occupied.

On Thursday, a suspected Russian missile demolished an house block in Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine nonetheless controls town, capital of a province that Russia claims to have annexed.

Ukrainian rescuers had retrieved 11 our bodies and rescued 21 folks from the rubble of buildings destroyed in missile assaults there, the State Emergency Service stated in a press release.

Reuters journalists noticed our bodies being carried out of the rubble. In an internet tackle to the brand new European Political Group safety and vitality discussion board, Zelenskiy accused Russia of focusing on the identical spot twice to kill responders.

“In Zaporizhzhia, after the primary rocket strike right this moment, when folks got here to choose aside the rubble, Russia carried out a second rocket strike. Absolute vileness, absolute evil.”

Russia says it doesn’t goal civilians.

Russia’s RIA information company reported {that a} Ukrainian missile had hit a bus within the Russian-controlled metropolis of Kherson, killing 4 and wounding three civilians.

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