Live: Biden says risk of nuclear ‘Armageddon’ highest since Cuban Missile Crisis

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Issued on: 07/10/2022 – 06:46

US President Joe Biden said Thursday that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine. Read our live blog to see how all the day’s events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+2). 


7:52am: US flies Russian cosmonaut to ISS as Ukraine conflict rages

A SpaceX capsule carrying a Russian crew member docked Thursday with the International Space Station on a NASA mission that carries significant symbolism amid the war in Ukraine.

The Crew Dragon spaceship “Endurance” blasted off Wednesday from Florida and rendezvoused with the orbiting research outpost some 30 hours later, docking at 5:01 pm Eastern Time (2301 GMT). 

“Crew-5 is happy to have finally arrived at the International Space Station,” said commander Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman in space. “We are looking forward to getting to work.”

Also aboard: Koichi Wakata of Japan, Josh Cassada of the United States and Anna Kikina of Russia, the only female cosmonaut currently in service.

Around two hours after docking, hatches will open allowing the crew to join seven others already on the station: two Russians, four Americans, and an Italian.

Two weeks ago, an American astronaut took off on a Russian Soyuz rocket for the orbital platform.

The long-planned astronaut exchange program has been maintained despite soaring tensions between the United States and Russia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

2:30am: Biden warns risk of nuclear ‘Armageddon’ at highest level since 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons”.

Biden added, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

Biden also challenged Russian nuclear doctrine, warning that the use of a lower-yield tactical weapon could quickly spiral out of control into global destruction.

“I don’t think there is any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical weapon and not end up with Armageddon,” Biden said.

US officials for months have warned of the prospect that Russia could use weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine as Moscow has faced a series of strategic setbacks on the battlefield. As recently as this week, though, they have said they have seen no change to Russia’s nuclear forces that would require a change in the alert posture of US nuclear forces.

10:05pm, October 6: Ukraine has retaken more than 500 sq km of land since October 1: Zelensky

Ukrainian forces have recaptured more than 500 square kilometres (195 square miles) of territory and dozens of settlements in the southern Kherson region alone since October 1, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

In a video address, he also said there had been more military successes in the east.

Earlier Thursday, Ukraine’s southern army command spokeswoman Natalia Gumeniuk said the recaptured territory in Kherson was home to nearly 30 towns and villages that had been occupied by Russian forces for months.

© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)