US President is scared that Russia will drop a tactical nuke on Kiev as Russia says HIMARS and Storm Shadow strikes will elicit a strikes on “decision making centres”
President Joe Biden, on Monday, said the threat of Russian President Vladimir Putin using tactical nuclear weapons is “real”, after denouncing Russia’s deployment of such weapons in Belarus.
On Saturday, Biden had called Putin’s announcement that Russia had deployed its first tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus “absolutely irresponsible”.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds virtual talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin amid Western fears that Moscow plans to attack Ukraine, during a secure video call from the Situation Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2021. /The White House/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
“When I was out here about two years ago saying I worried about the Colorado river drying up, everybody looked at me like I was crazy,” Biden told a group of donors in California on Monday.
“They looked at me like when I said I worry about Putin using tactical nuclear weapons. It’s real,” Biden said.
Last week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said his country has started taking delivery of Russian tactical nuclear weapons, some of which he said were three times more powerful than the atomic bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. © Sputnik
The deployment is Russia’s first move of such warheads – shorter-range, less powerful nuclear weapons that could be used on the battlefield – outside Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.
On Tuesday, the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shiogu warned that HIMARS and Storm Shadow missile strikes outside the zone of active hostilities will trigger a devastating response.
Such an operation will “result in immediate strikes against the decision-making centers in the territory of Ukraine,” he stated. The defense minister was speaking on Tuesday during a high-profile meeting in his department.
The minister also offered a brief update on the special military operation in Ukraine, stating that since June 4 Kiev’s forces launched 263 attacks against Russian positions. “All of them were repelled, the enemy failed to reach its goals,” he added.
The Ukrainian government this month launched its long-anticipated counteroffensive. So far, it has failed to achieve significant advances on the ground, according to Russian reports and to accounts in Western media.
The US and its allies have supplied Western-made military hardware worth billions of dollars in preparation for the Ukrainian operation, including main battle tanks that they’d previously hesitated to offer.
The Russian military claimed to have destroyed a significant portion of the arsenal in the past two weeks, as Ukrainian forces failed to breach minefields or to deal with Russian advantage in artillery firepower and air superiority.
The delivery in May of Storm Shadow missiles was another move to give Ukraine additional military capabilities ahead of the counteroffensive. These have a range of up to 300 kilometers (200 miles), which is superior to other weapons that Kiev has access to.
The Russian Ministry of Defense regularly reports intercepting the British-made weapons in its regular updates on the Ukraine campaign.