Russia’s nuclear threat ‘increasing’ according to multiple US intelligence officials

During the first week of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the dictator hinted at the possibility of nuclear threats, though most believed at the time that it was nothing more than a bluff to scare off Western nations from getting too involved in the war.

However, according to Fox News, the nuclear threat hasn’t exactly gone away, and recently, U.S. intelligence officials have hinted that there could be yet another level of nuclear escalation as Putin struggles to achieve his goals, thanks in part to the unprecedented strength of the Ukrainian people and its military. 

The new threat information came as a result of a meeting held this week by the House Intelligence Committee on current “worldwide threats.”

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, CIA Director William Burns, and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Scott David Berrier were included in the meeting, and fielded a number of pressing questions about the possibility of Putin going nuclear.

Scary answers

The three U.S. intelligence officials didn’t exactly put anyone’s mind at ease when asked by a number of lawmakers about the current nuclear threat facing the world.

“Would it be correct to characterize that likely your assessment is that the threat is increasing?” Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) asked. DNI Director Haines replied, “That the threat is increasing, generally yes, I think that’s fair.”

CIA Director Burns agreed, saying, “I absolutely agree that the threat is increasing.”

He added: “It’s very important for us not to underestimate either the scope of those ambitions or the pace at which they can move. China and hypersonics is one example.”

“Our role is to really provide the best military intelligence we have related to these kinds of weapons, facilities, organizations and doctrines we can so our policy makers can make the right decision,” Lt. Gen. Barrier added.

Putin’s threats

The meeting was essentially held to take a look at America’s nuclear program, compared to the modernization of similar programs in Russia and China, America’s top adversaries.

Early on in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Putin threatened other nations from joining, Turner said, reminding the panel that Putin “has stated that if anyone entered the conflict, that he would escalate, including the nuclear attacks as part of his exercises.”

Putin had also placed his nuclear deterrent forces on high alert, NBC News reported at the time, which sparked a new and scary discussion over the possibility of an increasingly isolated Putin pushing the nuclear button out of desperation at some point.

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