The US will retaliate harshly if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, says former US military commander in Europe
The US could destroy Russia’s Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, former US military commander in Europe, Ben Hodges, said know.
In an interview with the Daily Mail on Wednesday, Hodges described the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering the deployment of nuclear weapons as “Very unlikely.”
Putin won’t do that because “He knows the US will have to respond if Russia uses nuclear weapons,” he declared.
“The US response may not be nuclear … but most likely a devastating attack that could, for example, destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea, “ Hodges, who was in charge of US forces in Europe from 2014 to 2018, said.“So I think President Putin and those around him will be reluctant to involve the United States directly in the conflict.”
The comments came in response to Putin’s speech earlier that day in which he said Russia was fighting “The Entire Western Military Machine” in Ukraine, citing the lavish support of lethal aid and intelligence provided to Kiev by the US, UK, EU and other countries.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” he said. he warned.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says the Biden administration has listened to Putin’s words “serious,” but insist that it is “Irresponsible rhetoric for a nuclear power to speak like that.”
During his speech, Putin announced the partial deployment in Russia, with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu later stating that some 300,000 reservists would be called up.
Moscow’s change in strategy in Ukraine follows the announcement by the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and the Russian-administered Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, that they will hold a referendum on joining Russia from September 23 to 27.