To caution Moscow against using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the head of the CIA met with Putin's spy chief.

 To caution Moscow against using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the head of the CIA met with Putin's spy chief.

On August 17, 2022, at the military training facility Kubinka in Moscow, Russia, an Iskander-M missile launcher displays its capabilities during the International Military-Technical Forum "Army 2022."

William Burns, the director of the CIA, cautioned Putin's spymaster against using a nuclear bomb in Ukraine.

The former American ambassador to Russia, Burns, met with his Russian counterpart on Monday in Ankara.

Putin may use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine if he becomes desperate enough, according to Burns' earlier warnings.

According to the White House, CIA Director William Burns warned against using a nuclear weapon in the conflict in Ukraine during a meeting with Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia's foreign intelligence service.

Burns met with Naryshkin in Ankara, but according to a White House spokesperson, he did not engage in any negotiations of any kind because "he is conveying a message on the consequences of Russia using nuclear weapons, and the risks of escalation to strategic stability."

The spokesperson emphasized that Kyiv had been briefed prior to the visit and that the Biden administration would continue to adhere to its policy of refusing to hold official talks on Ukraine without the participation of the Ukrainian government.

Since beginning a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons numerous times, raising fears that he might actually act on those threats if the invasion's goals are not met.

Burns forewarned in April that Putin could resort to using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine if he becomes desperate enough.

Burns, a former US ambassador to Russia, said in remarks at Georgia Tech in Atlanta that "none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons" given the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership and the military setbacks they have already experienced.

After making those comments, Russia's situation in Ukraine deteriorated further, with Russian forces succumbing to significant Ukrainian counteroffensives.

Despite the CIA director's remarks, many military analysts and nuclear experts disagree that Russia would use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, arguing that its nuclear threats are primarily intended to stop the West from providing security assistance to Kyiv. Additionally, some analysts have questioned whether the depleted Russian military could even carry out such an assault. The number of casualties among Russian forces since the start of the conflict is estimated to be as high as 100,000.

There are indications that if Russia took such a drastic measure, its allies around the world, including Beijing, would turn against it.

On Monday in Bali, President Joe Biden met with Xi Jinping, the leader of China. The two world leaders, according to a readout of their meeting from the White House, "reiterated their agreement that a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won and underscored their opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine."

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