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White House: No nuclear threat from Russia following weekend of turmoil

by Haley Zehrung June 27, 2023 4:12 AM 2 min read
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The U.S. does not see any indication that Russia is planning to blow up the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant or use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters during a briefing on June 26.

"We’re watching this very closely.  We’ve seen that reporting.  We have, as you know, the ability near the plant to monitor radio activity, and we just haven’t seen any indication that that threat is imminent," Kirby said.

Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said on June 23 that Russia had completed preparations for an attack on the nuclear power plant. Budanov has also previously warned that Russia had mined the plant's cooler.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), however, has said that no new mines had been discovered during a recent visit  by its chief Rafael Grossi.

Kirby also said that the U.S. has made no changes to its strategic posture following a weekend of turmoil on Russian soil after the private military Wagner Group and its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin led an armed rebellion directed at Russia's military leadership.

"Outside of the blustery rhetoric, we’ve seen no indication that there is any intent to use nuclear weapons inside Ukraine.  And I can also assure you that we’ve done nothing — we’ve seen nothing that would — that would compel us to change our own strategic deterrent posture," Kirby said.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed on June 16 that the first tactical nukes had arrived in Belarus. The U.S. government has repeatedly dismissed Putin's claims of nuclear grandiosity, and has maintained that nuclear activity is being closely monitored.

Belarus Weekly: No nukes in Belarus, yet
Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that the first of Russia’s tactical nukes destined for Belarus have arrived. Ukraine denies Putin’s claim, saying Russia has yet to deliver a “single nuclear warhead” to Belarus. PACE urges “practical support” for exiled Belarusians, calling on its members to…
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