CIA chief: Putin ‘desperation’ raises nuclear risk
CIA Director William Burns acknowledged on Thursday that his agency was watching “very intently” the threat of President Vladimir Putin’s willingness to use tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons as Russia continues its war in Ukraine. Speaking to an audience at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Burns said that “potential desperation” from the Russian leadership to portray a victory in Ukraine increases the risk to the use of nuclear weapons. “None of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low yield nuclear weapons,” Burns said. “We don’t.” Burns added that so far, he had seen no “practical evidence” that would suggest such a move was imminent. He was answering a question posed by former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn. Nunn was instrumental in creating a program that brought nuclear weapons out of Ukraine and other former Soviet states.