Zelensky warns Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with CNN on Friday that the world should be prepared for the possibility of Russia using tactical nuclear weapons in its unprovoked invasion of his country.
Driving the news: Zelensky told CNN that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin could turn to nuclear or chemical weapons because he does not value Ukrainian lives.
The big picture: Zelensky's comments come on the heels of CIA Director William Burns' speech at Georgia Tech on Thursday, in which he warned that military setbacks and desperation could lead Putin to use tactical, or low-yield, nuclear weapons against Ukraine.
- There is no evidence that a nuclear attack against Ukraine is imminent, Burns said, but the intelligence community is not ignoring the threat.
Putin has alluded to the possibility of using nuclear weapons multiple times throughout Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
- FAt the outset of the war, Putin warned that those who tried to hinder Russia would face "such consequences that you have never encountered in your history."
- In late February, Putin announced that he was ordering Russia's nuclear deterrent forces on alert.
- However, a Kremlin official said on March 28 that Russia would use nuclear weapons only if it felt there was a threat to its existence.