Summary of news about the Russian war in Ukraine on October 27

Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted on Thursday that Moscow “never said anything on purpose” about using nuclear weapons, but said that as long as weapons exist, the danger of their use will always exist.

And he denied that Russia plans to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

“We have never deliberately said anything about the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons. We only responded with suggestions (nuclear threats) from Western leaders.”

Putin said, accusing Western governments, including former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, of engaging in “nuclear blackmail” against Russia.

He also accused the West of “pushing the thesis that Russia will use nuclear weapons” to influence neutral countries against Moscow. He stressed that Russian military doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons only for “defensive” purposes.

Putin also repeated baseless claims that Ukraine was building a dirty bomb for use on its own territory and blamed it on Moscow.

Russia accuses Ukraine of planning to use a so-called dirty bomb, which combines conventional explosives like dynamite and radioactive material like uranium. Kyiv and its Western allies say there is no truth to the allegations and that Moscow may be conducting a false flag operation.

Ukraine has invited experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit two facilities that the Russian government claims, without evidence, to be involved in a dirty bomb plot.

More background: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Putin had been told the consequences for Russia if it uses nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine.

Blinken also condemned Russia’s recent claim that Ukraine considers the use of a “dirty bomb” to be “another invention and something that is also the height of irresponsibility of a nuclear power.” Blinken reiterated that the United States is “very carefully” monitoring the Kremlin’s nuclear weapons rattle, but that it “sees no reason to change our nuclear stance.”

Despite Putin’s rhetoric, Russia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Andrey Kelin, told CNN on Wednesday that Russia will not use nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine.

But actions Moscow has taken in recent weeks — accusations of “dirty bombs,” attacks on civilian infrastructure, impending battlefield defeats and its annual military exercises — have raised concerns, a senior administration official said.

This official told CNN that the possible collapse of parts of the Russian military in Ukraine could be a factor that could force Putin to resort to using nuclear weapons. As such, the US is closely monitoring developments in the Kherson region, where Russian troops are not easily retreating.

Russia has briefed the United States on its annual GROM exercise, which involves its strategic nuclear forces, the Pentagon said. The Kremlin said in a statement on Wednesday that Putin was carrying out military exercises that included practicing the launch of cruise and ballistic missiles.

Despite growing concern, US officials have seen no evidence of Russian action to suggest Moscow is preparing to use nuclear weapons.

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.

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