CIA Director William Burns said on Saturday that there is no evidence that Russia will use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, although he warned that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is increasingly determined to win the war.
"The intelligence community is seeing no practical evidence that points, at this point, to Russian plans to deploy or even potentially use tactical nuclear weapons.", Burns said in a debate in Washington organized by the Financial Times newspaper.
Nuclear weapons known as tactics are those that can be used at close range in missiles on the battlefield or that can be launched from planes and ships. They are different from strategic nuclear weapons, those that have pitted Russia and the United States, the two largest nuclear powers, against each other for years.
Shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, Putin alluded to the possibility of using his nuclear arsenal, and at that time, the CIA asked not to take that threat "lightly".
Almost a month later, the director of the CIA continued without ruling out Russia’s use of nuclear weapons and asked to take that possibility seriouslybut noted that there is no evidence pointing to imminent use.
Although there is no immediate threat, Burns expressed concern about the position of Putin, who in his opinion has entrenched himself and is redoubling his efforts to win the war.
"I think he (Putin) is in a state of mind where he thinks he can’t afford to lose."analyzed Burns, who was the United States ambassador to Russia between 2005 and 2008 and has spent much of his career studying how the Russian leader thinks.
On February 24, the Kremlin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, and since then the war has left at least 3,193 deceased while 12 million people have had to leave their homesaccording to figures published this week by the United Nations, which warns that the number of dead and displaced persons is possibly much much higher.