US warns of catastrophic consequences if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine

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The United States warned of 'catastrophic consequences' if Moscow were to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, after Russia's Foreign Minister said regions holding widely-criticised ref

Votes in four eastern Ukrainian regions, aimed at annexing territory Russia has taken by force mostly since its invasion in February, were staged for a third day on Sunday. The Russian parliament could move to formalise the annexation within days.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday the United States would respond decisively to any Russian use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine and that it had spelled out to Moscow the"catastrophic consequences" it would face. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the point more directly at a news conference on Saturday after addressing the UN General Assembly in New York.

He cast opposition to what Russia calls a"special operation" as limited to the United States and countries under its sway, although nearly three-quarters of states in the assembly voted to reprimand Russia and demand it withdraw.designed to justify an escalation of the war and a mobilisation drive by Moscow after recent battlefield losses., who had made what she called a strategic mistake as he had not anticipated the strength of reaction from the West.

The territory controlled by Russian forces in the four regions represents about 15 per cent of Ukraine, about the size of Portugal. It would add to Crimea, which Russia claims to have already annexed in 2014, and which is nearly the size of Belgium.

 

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