The Pentagon could not confirm rumors of Russian forces transporting nuclear weapons to the Ukrainian border by rail, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper said on Oct. 5, according to the U.S. state-owned Voice of America news outlet.
“On the nuclear issue, we have certainly heard saber-rattling from Putin, but we don’t see any signs that would make us change our position on nuclear weapons,” she said.
Earlier this week, UK newspaper The Times reported that Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin is going to demonstrate his willingness to use weapons of mass destruction by conducting a nuclear test on the borders of Ukraine.
Concerns about nuclear escalation intensified after rumors appeared on the pro-Russian Telegram channel Rybar that a train belonging to a secretive Russian nuclear division was moving towards Ukraine.
On Sept. 21, Putin, after announcing a “partial mobilization” in Russia, once again threatened Western countries with the use of nuclear weapons, saying that "this is not a bluff."
The United States stated that in the event that Russia uses nuclear weapons against Ukraine, the response of Washington and its allies will be decisive. The U.S. warned the Kremlin of "catastrophic consequences."
According to Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov, Russia will not launch a nuclear strike in the near future.