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Nuclear War ‘Within the Realm of Possibility,’ UN Secretary General Warns

Washington’s nuclear alert levels remained unchanged.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview at the U.N. headquarters in New York City on Jan. 20. (AP/Robert Bumsted)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview at the U.N. headquarters in New York City on Jan. 20. (AP/Robert Bumsted)

Russia using nuclear weapons during its assault on Ukraine is “within the realm of possibility,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday.

Guterres told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision early on in the invasion to put his nuclear forces on high alert was a “bone-chilling development,” Reuters reported.

“The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility,” he said. “It is time to stop the horror unleashed on the people of Ukraine and get on the path of diplomacy and peace.”

Guterres called for the safeguarding of nuclear facilities in Ukraine and also announced the U.N. is allocating $40 million from its Central Emergency Response fund to assist Ukrainians, Reuters reported.

“This funding will help get critical supplies of food, water, medicines and other lifesaving aid into the country as well as provide cash assistance,” Guterres said.

Russian forces launched a full-blown military invasion of Ukraine nearly three weeks ago on Feb. 24. Four days later, Putin raised the alert status for his nuclear forces to “special regime of combat duty.”

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