The White House clarified Friday that President Joe Biden’s stark warning of a nuclear ‘Armageddon’ amid Russia’s war in Ukraine was not based on new intelligence.
“He is not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological and chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming,” Biden had said Thursday night at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in New York.
“I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use tactical nuclear weapons and not end up with Armageddon.”
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, told reporters Friday that the United States did not have new intelligence about Russia and nuclear weapons.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a veiled nuclear threat that raised alarms in the West.
“The president was speaking about concerns about Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons,” Pierre said.
“We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture nor do we have indications that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons.”
Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, told Russian state media agency RIA Novosti that there have been no changes in Russia’s approach to the use of nuclear weapons.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti that people who talk about nuclear escalation “behave irresponsibly.”
The news came as Ukrainian police on Friday found more than 500 civilian bodies in Kharkiv region, mostly from mass graves in the city of Izium which was liberated of Russian forces in early September, officials said.
Yevhen Yenin, Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, said in a statement that the bodies of 225 women and 19 children were among the 530 bodies recovered in Kharkiv.
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