US President Joe Biden says the world is facing the biggest nuclear “doomsday” threat since President Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis.
While speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in New York, reporters at the White House pool overheard his “off-camera” comments.
It comes as Russian officials warned of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after a huge military setback in the invasion of Russia. Ukraine.
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Describing Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Biden Said he “knows the man very well”.
“When he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons, he’s not kidding because you might say his military is clearly underperforming.”
He made it clear that if such weapons were deployed, it would rapidly escalate into a world nuclear conflict.
“For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we face a direct threat of the use of nuclear weapons, if in fact things continue their way,” he said.
“I want to figure out what Putin’s export is?” he said. “Where did he find his way out? Where did he find himself not only disgraced, but losing important power in Russia?
“We haven’t faced the prospect of the end of the world since the Kennedy and Cuban missile crises.”
He added: “I don’t think there is an ability to easily (use) tactical nuclear weapons and not end the world with doomsday.”
During the 1962 crisis, the United States under President John F. Kennedy and the Soviet Union under Nikita Krushev all but used nuclear weapons because of the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
What is the Cuban Missile Crisis?
The Cuban Missile Crisis is considered the closest thing to nuclear annihilation in the world.
The 13-day showdown in 1962 occurred after the United States discovered that the Soviet Union had secretly deployed nuclear weapons to Cuba.
In response to the presence of U.S. ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey, and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, Soviet leader Nikita Krushev agreed to place missiles on the island.
In response, then-US President John F. Kennedy ordered a naval quarantine of the island to prevent further missile deliveries.
After several days of tenseness, Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Krushev reached an agreement for the Soviets to dismantle their weapons in Cuba in exchange for Mr. Kennedy’s announcement that the United States would not invade Cuba again.
The United States has also secretly agreed to dismantle all of its intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Turkey.
It also led to the establishment of a Moscow-Washington hotline for direct communication between the two superpowers.
For the past few months, U.S. officials have been warning Russia of the prospect of using weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine after multiple strategic setbacks on the battlefield.
Putin has repeatedly mentioned the use of his country’s vast nuclear arsenal.
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Last month, when he announced plans to enlist Russian men to serve in Ukraine, He says“I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction… When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, in order to protect Russia and our people, we will definitely use all means at our disposal.”
He stared lingeringly at the camera, adding: “This is not bluff.”
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On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Putin understood that “the world will never forgive” Russia’s nuclear strike.
“He understands that after the use of nuclear weapons, he will no longer be able to protect his life, so to speak, and I have full confidence in that,” Mr Zelensky said.