President Joe Biden is declaring that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser, Biden said Thursday night that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a guy I know fairly well” and the Russian leader is “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”
“And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.” Zech. 14:12
Biden added, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” He suggested the threat from Putin is real “because his military is — you might say — significantly underperforming.”
U.S. officials for months have warned of the prospect that Russia could use weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine as it has faced strategic setbacks on the battlefield, though Biden’s remarks marked the starkest warnings yet by the U.S. government about the nuclear stakes.
Still, nothing has changed in U.S. intelligence assessments that in recent weeks have shown no evidence that Putin has imminent plans to deploy nuclear weapons, according to U.S. officials on Friday.