U.S. President Joe Biden accused Russia on Wednesday of making “reckless” and “irresponsible” threats to use nuclear weapons and said Moscow had violated the core tenets of United Nations membership by invading Ukraine.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Biden slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin for starting an unprovoked war that some 40 U.N. members were helping Ukraine fight through funding and weapons.
Earlier on Wednesday, Putin ordered a Russian mobilization to fight in Ukraine and made a thinly veiled threat to use nuclear weapons, in what NATO called a “reckless” act of desperation in the face of a looming Russian defeat.
Biden echoed that sentiment. “Again, just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe, in a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the nonproliferation regime,” Biden said.
“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” he said. Biden said no one had threatened Russia, despite its claims to the contrary, and that only Russia had sought conflict, and he used the U.N. setting to underscore his view that Moscow had violated the body’s values.
“A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, America will retaliate with ‘a devastating strike’ against Russia’s military if Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the United States Army’s former European commander has warned.
Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges today said any response by America ‘may not be nuclear’ but warned that if Putin were to use nukes in Ukraine that the US could look to ‘destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea’.
His comments come after the Russian premier sent shockwaves around the world, as he announced the ‘partial mobilization’ of his reserve military forces to continue his murderous invasion of Ukraine.
And in a chilling warning directed squarely at Western and Nato leaders, desperate despot Putin insisted he would use ‘all means’ necessary to defend swathes of territory seized or set to be annexed by Kremlin forces before threatening to use nuclear weapons.
‘If there is a threat to the territorial integrity of our country, and in protecting our people we will certainly use all means to us – and I’m not bluffing,’ he then added during his televised address to the Russian people on Wednesday morning.
Gen Hodges, who commanded the US Army in Europe between 2014 and 2018, stressed the ‘possibility’ of Putin ordering a nuclear strike on Ukraine was ‘very unlikely’.
But he said the use of any strategic weapons of mass destruction would be met with a swift and severe reaction from President Joe Biden. ‘He [Putin] knows the US will have to respond if Russia uses a nuclear weapon,’ Gen Hodges told MailOnline.
‘The US response may not be nuclear…but could very well be a devastating strike that could, for example, destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea.
‘So, I think President Putin and those around him will be reluctant to draw the US into the conflict directly.’ In a scathing attack on the West, Putin today falsely accused Nato of seeking to launch ‘military action on to Russian territory’.
Speaking from behind a wooden desk, Putin told Russian viewers on state-controlled television: ‘In its aggressive anti-Russian policies, the West has crossed all lines.
‘We constantly hear threats against our people and some irresponsible politicians in the West are talking about not just providing Ukraine with long-range military systems that will be able to hit Russia – that is already happening, we’re talking about the border regions, in Belgorod and systems using strategic drones, planes, doing reconnaissance across the south.
‘There are plans in Washington and Brussels to move the military action on to Russian territory. ‘There are not just talking about Russia being destroyed on the battlefield, they are talking about political, cultural, and all other types of sovereignty with complete pillage. Now they’re talking about nuclear blackmail.’