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Russia denies intention to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Russian missile systems are seen during the international military-technical forum "Army-2021" at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center in Moscow Region, Russia, August 23, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia does not intend to employ nuclear weapons in Ukraine, a Russian official says, rejecting reports by Western media suggesting the possibility of a nuclear strike by Moscow are “deliberate lies.”

Speaking in a press conference in Moscow on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Alexey Zaitsev said the use of atomic weapons was not an objective of the Russian military offensive against Ukraine.

“The scenarios of our potential use of nuclear weapons are clearly prescribed in Russian doctrinal documents. They are not applicable to the implementation of the tasks set in the course of the special military operation in Ukraine,” he said.

“Russia firmly adheres to the principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, and it must not be unleashed,” Zaitsev said.

Russia’s Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov has also reacted to the Western reports, saying that such “baseless” allegations are part of a propaganda campaign against Russia.

The diplomat also accused the West of misinterpreting Moscow’s recent decision to place its nuclear forces on high alert. He said the move was in response to extremely confrontational statements by the Western countries that possess nuclear weapons.

The development came after CIA Director William Burns said in mid-April that “none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons.”

Russia launched a military offensive against Ukraine in February. The US and its European allies back Kiev with cash and increasingly heavy and sophisticated weaponry. They have also introduced waves of sanctions against Moscow.

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