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Biden doubts Putin would use nuclear weapon, Ukraine pleads for extra weapons

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KYIV — U.S. President Joe Biden mentioned on Wednesday he doubted whether or not Russian President Vladimir Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon as Ukraine pleaded for a fast enhance in Western army assist to defend towards missile strikes on its cities.

The Russian president, below home strain to ramp up the battle as his forces have misplaced floor since early September, ordered missile strikes on Monday in response to an alleged Ukrainian assault on Russia’s bridge to annexed Crimea final weekend.

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In current weeks, Moscow moved to annex new tracts of Ukraine after referendums extensively denounced as unlawful, mobilized lots of of 1000’s of Russians to struggle, and repeatedly threatened to make use of nuclear arms, stoking alarm within the West.

Putin is a “rational actor who has miscalculated considerably,” Biden mentioned in a CNN interview.

Requested how practical he believed it could be for Putin to make use of a tactical nuclear weapon, Biden responded: “Effectively, I don’t suppose he’ll.”

A European diplomat mentioned NATO was contemplating convening a digital summit of the alliance to contemplate its response to Russia’s nuclear threats, annexation of Ukrainian territory and mobilization of troops.

NATO has not seen any change in Russia’s nuclear posture following the threats, Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg informed reporters in Brussels on Tuesday.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioned he expects a constructive response on Wednesday from Western allies in Brussels to his requests for a fast enhance in army assist because the nation’s cities confronted extra Russian missile strikes.

After Monday’s barrage of Russian missiles, Zelenskiy appealed to the leaders of the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday for extra air protection capabilities. The G7 vowed to help Kyiv for “so long as it takes.”

A U.S.-led coalition of some 50 international locations generally known as the Ukraine Defence Contact Group will meet in Brussels on Wednesday on the sidelines of a NATO protection ministers assembly.

“I’m anticipating from our companions progress on issues of anti-aircraft and anti-missile defenses and agreements on new provides of various weapons and ammunition very important for us,” Zelenskiy mentioned in a night tackle on Tuesday.

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The Ukrainian army mentioned on Tuesday evening that Russian missile strikes had broken greater than 10 cities, together with Lviv, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Zaporizhzhia. Air raid sirens wailed earlier throughout the nation for a second day.

“Over the previous 24 hours, the occupiers have once more resorted to mass missile strikes – greater than 30 cruise missiles, seven air strikes and 25 situations of shelling,” Ukraine’s armed forces mentioned.

The Ukrainian command mentioned its forces killed greater than 100 Russian troops within the southern Kherson area. Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the battlefield experiences.

The exercise on Tuesday was much less intense than the day earlier than when dozens of strikes killed 19 folks, wounded greater than 100 and knocked out energy throughout the nation in Moscow’s largest aerial offensive for the reason that begin of its invasion on Feb. 24.

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Extra missile strikes on Tuesday killed seven folks within the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia, a presidential aide mentioned, and left a part of the western metropolis of Lviv with out energy.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov celebrated the arrival from the USA of what he mentioned have been 4 further Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket Methods (HIMARS), whose accuracy and longer vary have allowed Ukraine to scale back Russia’s artillery benefit.

“HIMARS time,” he wrote on Twitter, was a “good time for Ukrainians and dangerous time for the occupiers.”

Ukraine on Tuesday acquired the primary of 4 IRIS-T air protection techniques Germany promised to produce, a German protection ministry supply mentioned. The USA mentioned it was dashing up the cargo of NASAMS air defenses to Ukraine. Washington has already offered greater than $16.8 billion value of safety assist to Ukraine throughout the battle.

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The G7 – which teams the USA, Germany, France, Japan, Britain, Italy and Canada – pledged continued “monetary, humanitarian, army, diplomatic and authorized help … for so long as it takes” to Ukraine, it mentioned in a press release.

It additionally condemned “indiscriminate assaults on harmless civilian populations” as battle crimes and mentioned Putin could be held to account for them.

Moscow, which calls its actions in Ukraine a “particular army operation” to eradicate harmful nationalists and defend Russian audio system, has accused the West of escalating and prolonging the battle by supporting Kyiv.

Kyiv and its Western backers accuse Russia of an unprovoked land seize in Ukraine. And Zelenskiy on Tuesday once more dominated out peace talks with Putin.

In an interview on state tv, Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov mentioned Moscow was open to talks with the USA or with Turkey on methods to finish the battle, now in its eight month, however had but to obtain any critical proposal to barter.

Washington dismissed such provides as “posturing.”

(Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Writing by Cynthia Osterman & Simon Cameron-Moore; Enhancing by Stephen Coates)



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