United States President Joe Biden has stated that the current risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is the highest it's been since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. This, he believes, is due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin's open discussion of the use of tactical nuclear weapons. It also follows Putin's accusations that the US created a precedent by using nuclear weapons on the Japanese civilian population during World War Two.
While speaking at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraising event, Biden said that Putin was “not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming.”
Many, including experts from the CIA, believed that Russia’s invasion would be a quick affair but it seems that Ukraine may have been underestimated and Russian military know-how and skill overestimated. Faced with a costly and slow victory or an even costlier defeat, the prospect of Russia using nuclear weapons is looming larger than ever.
“I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily (use) a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon,” Biden added. “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
Models for a nuclear crisis in Europe show that tens of millions would die in just a few hours. When scaled up to the whole planet, hundreds of millions might be killed in minutes, with 5 billion people likely to die from the subsequent famine.