NewsWhite House Braced for Russian Nuclear Strike on Ukraine in 2022

White House Braced for Russian Nuclear Strike on Ukraine in 2022

Americans feared a nuclear attack from Russia.
Americans feared a nuclear attack from Russia.
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5:05 PM EDT, March 10, 2024

In his forthcoming book "The Return of the Great Powers. Russia, China, and the Next World War," set for release on March 12 in the US, CNN journalist Jim Sciutto reveals that the White House was making preparations for a nuclear strike.

Reports from October 2022 indicated that there were concerns over Russia deploying so-called tactical nuclear weapons, which are less destructive and typically used on the battlefield. In November 2022, "The New York Times" reported discussions among Russian generals about the possibility of using such a weapon in Ukraine.

Response to losing Kherson

Upon receiving this intelligence, the administration under Joe Biden started to strategize the best course of action in the event that such a catastrophic scenario transpired, a White House source disclosed to the journalist.

The National Security Council convened multiple times to devise a response plan or prevention measures against a possible attack.

The loss of Kherson, one of Russian forces' significant territorial acquisitions, particularly alarmed the White House, fearing it could provoke Russia into launching an attack. In November 2022, Russian forces were compelled to withdraw from the city.

Washington viewed the evolving situation as a potential catalyst for escalation. Putin considered the territories in the Kherson region his own, underscored by an illegal referendum held there. The US anticipated Russia might use tactical nuclear weapons as a deterrent to dissuade further Ukrainian offensives.

Allegations of a "dirty bomb"

Concurrently, CNN reported that Russian propaganda was spreading allegations about Ukraine planning to use a "dirty bomb." Washington interpreted these claims as possibly masking Russia's own aggressive intentions.

In October 2022, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reached out to his counterparts in the USA, the UK, France, and Turkey, voicing concerns over potential provocations from Kyiv involving a dirty bomb.

The US dismissed these allegations as baseless but viewed them as either an attempt by Russia to justify its own actions or to lay the groundwork for "something crazy."

In response, the US communicated warnings to Russia about the implications of an attack and sought to elevate the issue internationally, gaining statements from Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi. According to the US, these statements played a role in deescalating the crisis.

Source: CNN

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