CIA Chief: We Have To Take Putin’s Nuclear Weapons Threat ‘Seriously’

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 20: (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves the stage during the meeting marking the 220th Anniversary of the Ministry of Justice, at the Grand Kremlin Palace, September 20, 2022, in Moscow, Russia. Russian President Putin on Tuesday blasted what he described as U.S. efforts to preserve its global domination, saying they are doomed to fail. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • CIA Director William Burns says it is difficult to determine if Russian President Vladimir Putin is bluffing about his threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
  • He was asked if he saw any signs that Russia intended to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
  • Asked if Putin is bluffing, he replied: “It’s tough to say at this point. And, as I said, what we have to do is take it very seriously, watch for signs of actual preparations, and also — and this is the role of policymakers, and I’m no longer a policymaker — but to communicate very directly with the severe consequences that would flow from any use of nuclear weapons,” Burns said.

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