Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent threat to use nuclear weapons will not end US aid to Ukraine, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday.
“Regarding any statement or announcement by Russia, this does not affect the commitment to continue working closely with our international partners and friends to provide Ukraine with the support it needs in its fight to defend its country, ” said the Pentagon. Press Secretary Brig. General Patrick Ryder told reporters. Putin raised the possibility of using nuclear weapons on Wednesday during a speech in which he announced the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of additional security forces for his war in Ukraine.
“Our homeland’s borders, freedom and independence, I emphasize again, will be recognized with all the means we have. Those who are trying to destroy us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn their way,” Putin said.
“I want to remind you that our country also has different methods of destruction, and some of them are more current than NATO countries,” Putin added. The United States has provided Ukraine with advanced rocket systems, drones, vehicles and weapons, which has angered the Kremlin. Weapons have proved crucial to Ukraine’s successful efforts to retake large swathes of its territory since the beginning of the month. Ryder said US officials remained focused on communicating with their Ukrainian counterparts, allies and partners about what they needed, and that Putin’s rhetoric would not affect that.
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“We will continue to have these discussions and we will continue to think about not only what they want in the medium and long term, but also what they want now,” he said. “I didn’t see those conversations related to this situation.”
Ryder also said that US officials and the Ukrainian government are discussing what their military will need before the winter, which is expected to be brutal for the soldiers on the front lines. “We’re offering some winter gear, but we’re going to continue to have those conversations and support them as we go into the winter months here,” he said.