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Exclusive: US prepared ‘rigorously' for potential Russian nuclear strike in Ukraine in late 2022, officials say

·1 min

In late 2022, the US began preparing for the possibility of Russia launching a nuclear strike on Ukraine. The Biden administration was specifically concerned about the use of tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons. The administration held meetings to develop contingency plans in case of an attack or if there was a clear indication that an attack was imminent. The fear was that a significant loss for Russian forces in Ukraine could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. Russia’s propaganda machine also circulated a false flag story about a Ukrainian dirty bomb, causing further concerns. Western intelligence agencies had picked up communications among Russian officials discussing a nuclear strike. Despite efforts to track Russian movements, there were no indications of steps towards using nuclear weapons. The US reached out to Russia through diplomatic channels and engaged with allies to discourage a nuclear attack. China and India’s leaders’ statements helped ease tensions and avert a crisis.