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Presidential Office head says risk of Russia using nukes not high at the moment

by Dinara Khalilova July 14, 2023 9:11 PM 2 min read
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrii Yermak speaks during his joint press conference with the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos on August 16, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Alexey Furman/Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky's Chief of Staff, Andrii Yermak, told reporters on July 14 that there is always a threat of Russia using nuclear weapons to stop Ukraine's ongoing counteroffensive, but it's not high at the moment.

Yermak's statement comes a day after U.S. President Joe Biden said there was no real possibility of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons against Ukraine or the West.

Moscow has stepped up its nuclear threats against Kyiv and its allies in recent weeks as the West has increased its military aid to Ukraine.

On July 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Kremlin would see the potential provision of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as a "nuclear threat" as these planes can carry nuclear warheads.

Locals near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant brace for potential disaster: ‘It would be the end of us’
Editor’s note: For this story, the Kyiv Independent talked to residents who live in Russian-occupied settlements in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. For their safety, we have changed their names. From the rooftop of his home, Anton can easily see the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant…

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev threatened nuclear facilities in Ukraine and other Eastern European countries with Russian strikes, claiming that increased NATO support for Ukraine could lead to World War III.

At the same time, Russian forces continue to mine the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in preparation for a possible sabotage attack, according to Ukraine's military intelligence.

In the same conversation with Ukrainian journalists on July 14, Yermak said nuclear threats at the Zaporizhzhia plant would remain as long as Russian troops stay on the premises.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been under Russian occupation since March 2022. Since then, Russian forces have used Europe's largest nuclear power plant as a military base to launch attacks against Ukrainian-controlled territory.

On the edge of disaster: What could really happen if Russia destroys Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
In late June, 16 months into the full-scale Russian invasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky alerted his nation of an unprecedented threat. Russia, the president said, had rigged the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant with explosives, and was ready to set off the charges and cause radiation to…
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