Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the rest of the world should be prepared for the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use nuclear weapons in his invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper in Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv on Friday, Zelenskyy warned that “countries have to be worried” about the potential use of tactical nuclear and chemical weapons.
“Not only me, all of the world, all of the countries have to be worried, because it can be not real information, but it can be truth,” Zelenskyy, who spoke in English, told Tapper during their sit-down interview.
“Chemical weapons … they could do it,” Zelenskyy added. “For them, the life of the people is nothing.”
The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces entered its 50th day this week, and Zelenskyy praised the resolve of Ukrainians in an address to the nation, pointing out that Russia had planned to take Kyiv within a matter of days.
That hasn’t happened, but Russia’s military has continued its brutal assault and shelling of civilian cities, killing over 5,000 civilians in the city of Mariupol alone, according to its mayor. Russia has also suffered cataclysmic losses, including the deaths of more than 15,000 soldiers, according to NATO estimates from late March. And the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet was destroyed this week after it was targeted by Ukrainian missiles.
“President Putin said that if anybody tries to stop him, very bad things will happen,” Amanpour said. “And I want to know whether you are convinced or confident that your boss will not use that option.”
Peskov didn’t rule it out.
“Well, we have a concept of domestic security, and, well, it’s public,” Peskov responded. “You can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used. So, if it is an existential threat for our country, then [nuclear weapons] can be used, in accordance with our concept.”