Russia has warned that a third world war would be “nuclear and destructive” amid his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, also alleged that Russia would be in “real danger” if Ukraine ever acquired nuclear weapons.
There is no evidence that Ukraine attempted to acquire nuclear weapons from the West. Ukraine gave up its nukes in the early 1990s following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
“The third world war will be nuclear and destructive … President Biden is an experienced man and has previously stated that the only alternative to war are sanctions,” Lavrov said in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel, without elaborating, according to Gazeta, other Russian media, and Reuters.
Earlier this week, the spectre of nuclear war was raised when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s strategic deterrence forces, which operates some of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, to be on a heightened state of alert.
Some analysts remarked that the order was meant to intimidate the United States and NATO so as they don’t get involved in the Ukraine conflict.
Russia, like the United States, possesses thousands of nuclear weapons, but both countries over the years have stressed that nuclear war would lead to the annihilation of both sides.
On Thursday afternoon local time, Russia claimed its forces captured the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, as reported Reuters.
However, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, said that “the city has not fallen, our side continues to defend” amid ongoing fighting, highlighting the opposing claims of military victories on both sides of the conflict.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, said Russia had told the agency that its military had taken control around Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, but operations there continued normally.