CIA Director: Russia can use nuclear weapons

CIA Director William Burns has warned of the danger of Russia using tactical or small nuclear weapons if President Vladimir Putin “despairs” of failing to reach a solution he sees as a victory in the war against Ukraine. BBC.

However, the head of US foreign intelligence stressed that there was no evidence of the deployment of troops or the movement of weapons to show such plans. “The CIA is closely monitoring any signs of this,” he told reporters in Georgia.

At the same time, Burns warned that the administration of US President Joe Biden was taking seriously the threat of Russia’s use of nuclear weapons, “given the possible desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership over the military setbacks they face” during the invasion. Ukraine.

The so-called “tactical” nuclear weapon is less destructive and is intended for use on the battlefield. Russia has a large arsenal of such weapons, according to the BBC.

Burns also called the actions of Russian troops in Bucha and other parts of Ukraine “horrific crimes” and warned that the next phase of the war would be “bloody.”

“The last chapter of Putin’s war has not yet been written, as he (Putin) is making his way to Ukraine,” Burns said in a public speech on the occasion of his first year in office. “I do not doubt the severe pain and damage that Putin may continue to inflict on Ukraine or the brutal brutality with which Russian force is being used.”

The CIA director also condemned China’s actions, calling President Xi Jinping “a silent partner in Putin’s aggression.”

Burns served as US ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008; speaks Russian, French, and Arabic. He met with the Russian leadership more than any other senior member of the Biden administration.

Burns last visited Moscow in November 2021 to warn Putin on behalf of Biden that US intelligence was aware of plans to invade Ukraine at a time when many observers thought it was unthinkable, despite warnings from international intelligence. community.

A BBC source said some Russian officials had learned from the head of US foreign intelligence that their country could attack Ukraine.

Burns said Thursday that he was deeply impressed by the November meeting.

“While it did not appear at the time that he had already made a final decision to invade Ukraine, Putin was inclined to do so, apparently worried that his chances of influencing Ukraine’s (political) orientation were diminishing,” Burns said.

Burns believes Putin expected a quick capitulation of the Ukrainian army and a victory for Russian forces with minimal losses – and did not envision tough sanctions from Europe, but also believed that foreign exchange reserves would protect the Russian economy from sanctions.

All of these calculations proved untenable, Burns said; seven weeks after the start of the war, the will of the Ukrainian people remains steadfast, and Russia suffers colossal material and reputational losses.

Burns added that by leaking classified information about Russia’s plans, US intelligence had thwarted Putin’s attempts to cover up the truth about the aggression against Ukraine.

We recall that in the autumn of last year the intelligence community in Britain and the United States warned that Russia was gathering troops near the Ukrainian border and was likely to prepare a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, but the Russian leadership said it was a planned exercise. The Ukrainian authorities have at least officially downplayed this danger as well.

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