Biden has warned Russia not to use tactical nuclear weapons


President Joe Biden said Russia would make a “serious, grave mistake” if it deployed a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, his latest warning to President Vladimir Putin against escalating the month-long conflict.

Senior administration officials are working to decipher Moscow’s claims that Kiev is preparing to use a dirty bomb on Ukrainian soil, an allegation that Western leaders have dismissed as false.

The claims, however, have raised fears that Russia is laying the groundwork to launch an attack as a pretext for escalating the war in Ukraine, with Biden offering a stark warning in a brief statement on Tuesday.

“I spent a lot of time today talking about that,” Biden said when asked about Russia’s intentions.

“Tell me that Russia would be making incredibly serious mistakes if it used a tactical nuclear weapon,” he continued. “I still don’t guarantee it’s a false flag operation. We don’t know It would be a serious and serious mistake.’

Biden was speaking after receiving a Covid-19 shot at the White House.

Without providing evidence, Moscow said this week that there are scientific institutions in Ukraine with the technology needed to create a dirty bomb, and it accuses Kyiv of planning to use it.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday that it has information showing that Kiev is planning a provocation linked to the explosion of a dirty bomb.

Russia’s allegations have been strongly denied by Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and NATO, while Moscow has been accused of trying to launch a false flag operation.

US officials say they see no evidence that Russia is preparing to use an unusual weapon, such as a dirty bomb, on the battlefield in Ukraine. Nor do they see evidence that Putin has decided to use one.

But the rhetoric alone has raised concerns that Russia could be preparing for a sharp escalation on the ground.

The United States is “monitoring as best we can” possible preparations for the use of a dirty bomb in Ukraine, but currently sees nothing to indicate imminent use of such a weapon, the White House said on Monday.

“If an actor wanted to carry out a dirty bomb attack, a lot of our detection ability would be determined by a number of factors, including the amount of time the perpetrator would have prepared or the communications he would have had to do it, and the size and location,” said John Kirby, National Security National Council strategic communication coordinators.