Zelensky warns Russia could use tactical nuclear weaponstext_fields
Kyiv: Repeating an earlier warning, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky told journalists Saturday that the world should prepare for the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia.
"We shouldn't wait for the moment when Russia decides to use nuclear weapons," he said in an interview with Ukrainian news media.
"We must prepare for that."
Zelensky told CNN's Jake Tapper in another exclusive interview from the office of the president in Kyiv on Friday that Putin could turn to either nuclear or chemical weapons because he does not value the lives of the people of Ukraine.
"Not only me -- all of the world, all of the countries have to be worried because it can be not real information, but it can be truth," Zelensky said, switching into English to emphasize his point.
Anti-radiation medicine and air raid shelters would be needed, he said. The Russians, he said, "can use any weapon, I'm convinced of it".
The interview was relayed by six Ukrainian news websites and also broadcast by the Ukrainian presidency on Telegram.
Already on Friday, Zelensky had warned that the world should be worried about the threat Putin posed, echoing comments by CIA director William Burns.
Burns said Thursday that Russia's battlefield setbacks raised the risk that President Vladimir Putin could deploy a tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon.
The Kremlin said it had placed Russian nuclear forces on high alert shortly after the assault began on February 24, but the United States says it has not seen any sign of unusual nuclear movements.
Moscow has said it would use a nuclear weapon on Ukraine in the case of an "existential threat" against Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN in a recent interview.
Russian military doctrine includes the "escalate to de-escalate" principle of launching a small nuclear weapon to regain the initiative in the war.
US President Joe Biden is "deeply concerned about avoiding a third world war, about avoiding a threshold in which nuclear conflict becomes possible," said Burns.