VOA News – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States has made it clear publicly and privately to Russia to “stop the loose talk about nuclear weapons” in the Ukraine conflict following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that he would use any means to defend Russia.
“It’s very important that Moscow hear from us and know from us that the consequences would be horrific, and we’ve made that very clear,” Blinken told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” show in an interview broadcast late Sunday.
Blinken said using nuclear weapons “would have catastrophic effects for, of course, the country using them, but for many others as well.”
The U.S. response came after Putin signaled the possibility of a nuclear attack last week as he called up 300,000 military reservists to help Russia fight in its seven-month invasion of Ukraine. The troop augmentation came after Russian battlefield setbacks, with Kyiv’s forces recapturing large swaths of territory in northeast Ukraine that Russia had seized in the early weeks of the war.
Britain’s defense ministry said Monday that the first of the call-ups had started to arrive at military bases, but that Russia faces administrative and logistical challenges in training those troops.
“Many of the drafted troops will not have had any military experience for some years,” the ministry said. “The lack of military trainers, and the haste with which Russia has started the mobilization, suggests that many of the drafted troops will deploy to the front line with minimal relevant preparation. They are likely to suffer a high attrition rate.”