Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the rest of the world should be prepared for the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin might use nuclear weapons during his invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Friday, Zelenskyy warned that “countries need to be concerned” about the potential use of tactical nuclear and chemical weapons.
“Not only me, everyone, every country should be worried because it may not be real information, but it may be the truth,” Zelenskyy, speaking in English, told Tap during their interview.
“Chemical weapons…they could do it,” Zelenskyy added. “For them, the life of the people is nothing.”
The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces entered its 50th day this week, and Zelenskyy hailed Ukrainian determination in an address to the nation, stressing that Russia had planned to take kyiv within days.
That did not happen, but the Russian military continued its brutal assault and shelling of civilian towns, killing more than 5,000 civilians in the city of Mariupol alone, according to its mayor. Russia has also suffered cataclysmic casualties, including the death of more than 15,000 troops, according to NATO estimates as of late March. And the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was destroyed this week after being targeted by Ukrainian missiles.
“President Putin said if anyone tried to stop him, very bad things would happen,” Amanpour said. “And I want to know if you are convinced or confident that your boss will not use this option.”
Peskov did not rule it out.
“Well, we have a concept of internal security, and, well, it’s public,” Peskov replied. “You can read all the reasons why nuclear weapons are used. So if this is an existential threat to our country, then [nuclear weapons] can be used, according to our concept.