UPDATED 10:59 AM PT – Wednesday, April 20, 2022
The Pentagon is closely monitoring Russia’s nuclear arsenal, but does not believe President Vladimir Putin will use nuclear weapons anytime soon. That’s according to reports citing defense officials Tuesday, which say they have seen no “indication” the use of nuclear weapons is imminent.
Additionally, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other military leaders are being briefed multiple times a week about the matter. During a press briefing Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby pointed out Putin has not recently spewed any rhetoric regarding nuclear arms like he did early into the invasion of Ukraine.
“In light of what’s going on in Ukraine and certainly in light of of the early rhetoric, we are actively monitoring every single day” Kirby stated. “Even today, the secretary remains comfortable that we have an appropriate strategic deterrent posture in place and there’s no need to make any changes to it.”
Supply crates containing munitions and other explosive material bound for Ukraine are loaded at Dover Air Force Base in April 2022. pic.twitter.com/hN68rceBAS
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) April 16, 2022
This comes as Kremlin officials are reportedly worried Putin may resort to using nuclear weapons amid his failure to topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government.