News summary of the Russian war in Ukraine on October 27

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Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Thursday that Moscow had “never intentionally said anything” about the use of nuclear weapons, but said that as long as the weapons existed, the danger of their use would always exist.

And he denied that Russia was planning to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

“We never intentionally said anything about the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons. We only responded with suggestions (nuclear threats from) Western leaders.”

Putin said, accusing Western governments, including former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, of engaging in “nuclear blackmail” against Russia.

He also accused the West of “forcing the thesis that Russia will use nuclear weapons” to influence neutral countries against Moscow. He stressed that Russia’s military doctrine only allows the use of nuclear weapons for “defense” purposes.

Putin also reiterated baseless claims that Ukraine was building a dirty bomb to use on its own territory and blamed Moscow for it.

Russia has been accusing Ukraine of planning to use a so-called dirty bomb, which combines conventional explosives like dynamite and radioactive material like uranium. Kyiv and its Western allies say there is no truth to the accusation and that Moscow may be staging a false flag operation.

Ukraine has invited experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit two facilities that the Russian government says, without evidence, are involved in a plot to create a dirty bomb.

More background: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that the consequences for Russia if it uses a nuclear weapon in its war against Ukraine have been communicated to Putin.

Blinken also denounced Russia’s recent claim that Ukraine regards the use of a “dirty bomb” as “another invention and something that is also the height of irresponsibility coming from a nuclear power.” Blinken reiterated that the United States is monitoring the Kremlin’s nuclear saber rattling “very carefully” but has “seen no reason to change our nuclear posture.”

Despite Putin’s rhetoric, Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin told CNN on Wednesday that Russia will not use nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine.

However, actions taken by Moscow in recent weeks — “dirty bomb” accusations, attacks on civilian infrastructure, impending battlefield defeats and its annual military drill — have raised concerns, a senior official said. administration official.

This official told CNN that the possible collapse of parts of Russia’s military in Ukraine could be the factor that could cause Putin to resort to the use of nuclear weapons. As such, the US is closely monitoring developments in the Kherson region, where it is not easy for Russian soldiers to withdraw.

Russia briefed the United States on its annual GROM exercise, which includes its strategic nuclear forces, the Pentagon said. The Kremlin said in a statement Wednesday that Putin was conducting military training exercises involving practice launches of cruise and ballistic missiles.

Despite growing concerns, US officials have seen no evidence of Russian action that indicates Moscow is preparing to use nuclear weapons.

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.

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