Putin’s nuclear weapon threats are putting US officials on edge

An image of Russian President Vladimir Putin is displayed as U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about gas prices in the South Court Auditorium at the White House campus on June 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.
An image of Russian President Vladimir Putin is displayed as U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about gas prices in the South Court Auditorium at the White House campus on June 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has U.S. officials on the edge of their seats after he made threats to use nuclear weapons in his current invasion of Ukraine.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin shared with CNN on Sunday that there is serious weight behind Putin’s remarks, being that he alone makes that call.

“To be clear, the guy who makes that decision, I mean, it’s one man. There are no checks on Mr. Putin. Just as he made the irresponsible decision to invade Ukraine, you know, he could make another decision,” Austin said.

If Putin were to put nuclear weapons into play, it would cause a massive response from both the U.S. and NATO. However, Austin said that he doesn’t “see anything right now,” indicating Putin has decided to use such weapons.

Russia moved to annex four regions of Ukraine on Friday after making its nuclear threats. Putin spoke about the move and the threats during a televised speech.

“This is not a bluff. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them,” Putin said, The Hill reported.

The threat is now being taken seriously by government officials in both Kyiv and Washington, D.C. But, even still, there is no plan to stop fighting Russia over the area Putin claimed.

H.R. McMaster, a former national security adviser, spoke with CBS’s “Face the Nation” this weekend, saying that he thinks Putin is trying to send a message most of all.

“I think the message to [Putin] is: If you use a nuclear weapon, it’s a suicide weapon. And the response from NATO and the United States doesn’t have to be nuclear,” McMaster said.

Last Month Putin called up as many as 300,000 reservists to bolster the Russian military, a move that has been met with criticism from many of the country’s citizens and saw thousands who would be called up flee the country.

McMaster said that he thinks Putin is down to “the only quiver he has left, which is to, you know, to threaten the use of a nuclear weapon.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images