PolitiFact, April 2022
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is going poorly enough that President Vladimir Putin might decide to use what are known as tactical nuclear weapons, according to both Ukrainian and U.S. leaders. In an interview, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN’s Jake Tapper that all countries should be prepared for the possibility that Putin could use nuclear weapons. CIA Director William Burns also warned of this possibility during a recent speech.
Nuclear weapons haven’t been detonated as tools of war since 1945. But with increasing concern about their risks, we researched what tactical nuclear weapons are, what Russia would seek to accomplish by using them, and how the West might respond.