Biden warns risk of nuclear 'Armageddon' is highest since Cuban Missile Crisis

Biden warns risk of nuclear 'Armageddon' is highest since Cuban Missile Crisis

President Joe Biden said Thursday that the risk of nuclear "Armageddon" is the highest it has been for 60 years after Russian President Vladimir Putin renewed his threats as his military retreats in Ukraine.

In remarks at a reception for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said it was the first time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that there has been a "direct threat" of nuclear weapons being used, "if, in fact, things continue down the path they are going.”

“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” he said, offering his bluntest comments about the use of nuclear weapons since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Late last month, Putin renewed nuclear threats he made at the onset of Russia’s invasion. “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” the Russian leader said in a televised national address.

"I'm not bluffing," he added. Putin issued his warning as he announced the call-up of 300,000 Russian troops after his military forces suffered severe setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.

This week Kyiv’s troops were pushing forward in the country’s east and south, threatening a major new breakthrough and forcing Putin’s soldiers to retreat from the territory he claimed to have annexed in a grand ceremony last week. With pressure growing over those defeats and the chaotic mobilization at home, fears have intensified that he may be willing to escalate further rather than accept defeat.