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Biden Walks Back 'Armageddon' Warning, Doesn't Expect Russia to Go Nuclear

10-13-2022
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President Joe Biden, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Joe Biden, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Ukraine is enduring some of the worst bombing the country has seen since the start of Russia's invasion. The Russian regime's latest offensive is also renewing efforts for Ukraine's allies to get the country more help. 

Defense officials from around the country met in Brussels this week to discuss what can be done for the war-torn country. The conversations took place with Russian leader Vladimir Putin's threat of using a tactical nuclear weapon still hanging in the air.

President Joe Biden told CNN this week he thought Putin miscalculated with his decision to instigate the war. He called Putin a "rational actor" who had irrational expectations. 

"I think he thought he was going to be welcomed with open arms, that this has been the home of mother Russia and Kyiv and he was going to be welcomed, and I think he just totally miscalculated," he told CNN's Jake Tapper. 

He also clarified his "armageddon" comments. 

"The idea that a world leader and one of the largest nuclear powers in the world says he may use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine. The whole point I was making was it could lead to a horrible outcome, and not because anyone intends to turn it into a world war, but once you use a nuclear weapon, the mistakes that can be made, the miscalculations. Who knows what would happen?" said Biden. 

Nuclear Risks Rising: Putin Now 'a Cornered Animal', Retaliates for Crimea Bridge Attack

The comments come as the war seems to be intensifying. Ukraine accused Russia of targeting and killing civilians in Kyiv with heavy missile strikes this week. Putin said it was in response to a massive bridge explosion in Crimea cutting off a major supply artery for Russia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley joined dozens of other defense officials in Brussels this week to discuss how to continue arming the Ukrainian resistance. The focus now is on air defense as a harsh and potentially bloody winter approaches.

"I expect that Ukraine will continue to do everything it can throughout the winter to regain its territory and to be effective on the battlefield. And we're going to do everything we can to make sure that they have what's required to be effective," said Austin. 

Biden also told CNN he didn't actually expect Russia to use a nuclear weapon, nor did he expect to meet with Putin next month at a G20 summit. That could change, he said, if Putin wanted to discuss freeing imprisoned basketball star Brittney Griner. 

'Popping a Nuke': Putin May Be Getting Desperate to Preempt a Defeat in Ukraine

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