Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine has brought the world closer to “Armageddon” than at any time since the Cold-War Cuban Missile Crisis, US President Joe Biden said. Former US National Security adviser John Bolton has since warned the Russian leader he would be “signing a suicide note” if he launched a nuclear attack. Speaking to LBC, Mr Bolton said: “We need to make it clear to him and the people around him in his government so that they can take action before he does anything like that.
“We need to make clear if Putin were to order the use of a tactical nuclear weapon he would be signing a suicide note.
“I think that’s what it takes to deter him if he gets into extreme circumstances.”
He added: “I don’t agree we can’t get him and I think he knows that.
“You can ask Qassem Soleimani in Iran what happens when we decide somebody is a threat to the United States.”
READ MORE: Ukraine declares it is ‘HIMARS time’ after new delivery
President Biden said on Wednesday he doubted whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon as Ukraine pleaded for a rapid increase in Western military aid to defend against missile strikes on its cities.
Explosions rocked the Russian-occupied southern towns of Kherson and Melitopol and air raid sirens blared over Kyiv, two days after Russia unleashed a barrage of missiles on Ukrainian towns in a major escalation of the conflict.
Putin, under domestic pressure to ramp up the war as his forces have lost ground since early September, ordered Monday’s missile strikes in response to an alleged Ukrainian attack on Russia’s bridge to annexed Crimea last weekend.
In recent weeks, Moscow moved to annex new tracts of Ukraine after referendums widely denounced as illegal, mobilised hundreds of thousands of Russians to fight, and repeatedly threatened to use nuclear arms, stoking alarm in the West.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts in Kherson or Melitopol which were reported by Russian media.
Also in the south, Russian missiles destroyed buildings in the Zaporizhzhia region overnight but there were no reports of casualties, regional Governor Oleksandr Starukh said on the Telegram messaging app.
Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.
Air raid sirens sounded over Kyiv for a third consecutive day, even as residents cleaned up after Monday’s strikes.