US President Joe Biden, asked what he would tell Putin if he was considering using such weapons, replied in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes: “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.”
Some military analysts have said Russian might also stage a nuclear incident at Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant held by Russia but run by Ukrainian staff.
Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other for shelling around the plant that has damaged buildings and disrupted power lines needed to keep it cooled and safe.
US Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for vigilance after visiting a base in Poland aiding Ukraine’s war effort. His remarks were a reminder of the risks of escalation as the United States and its NATO allies aid Ukraine from a distance.
“The war is not going too well for Russia right now So it’s incumbent upon all of us to maintain high states of readiness, alert,” he said after his trip to the base, which reporters travelling with him were asked not to identify.
Five civilians were killed in Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region over the past day and in Nikopol, further west, several dozen residential buildings, gas pipelines and power lines were hit, regional governors said on Sunday.
In a intelligence update, Britain’s defence ministry said Russian strikes at civilian infrastructure, including a power grid and a dam, had intensified.
“As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” it said.
On Saturday, Zelenskyy said authorities had found a mass grave containing the bodies of 17 soldiers in Izium, some of which he said bore signs of torture.
Izium residents have been searching for dead relatives at a forest grave site where workers began exhuming bodies last week. Ukrainian officials said last week they had found 440 bodies in woods near Izium. They said most of the dead were civilians and the causes of death had not been established.