The United Nations chief has warned that nuclear annihilation is just one miscalculation away. At the opening of a key nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) conference in New York, António Guterres warned that the world faced “a nuclear danger not seen since the height of the cold war.” “Humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” he said citing the war in Ukraine as a significant factor.
On Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin said there could be “no winners” in a nuclear war and it should “never be unleashed” in a letter sent to attendees of the NPT conference. In February, Putin pointedly referred to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and warned outside powers that any attempt to interfere would “lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history”. Days later, he ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be put on high alert.
The US will send $550m in a new tranche of weapons to Ukraine, including ammunition for increasingly important rocket launchers and artillery guns. Ukraine received a batch of four more US-made high mobility artillery rocket systems (Himars), Ukraine’s defence minister said on Monday.
The US has accused Russia of using Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant as a “nuclear shield”. US secretary of state Antony Blinken said Washington was “deeply concerned” that Moscow was now using the plant as a military base and firing on Ukrainian forces from around it and called Russia’s actions around the plant “the height of irresponsibility”.