US speeds up plans to deploy upgraded B61-12 nukes in Europe – media reports

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin

Read also: EU’s adopts 8th sanctions package, Reznikov doubts Russian nuke threats, and new NBU chief nominated

The newspaper referred to a U.S. diplomatic cable and two people familiar with the issue.

Read also: Putin is losing, while Ukrainian forces grow in strength, NATO says

According to the newspaper, the arrival of the upgraded B61-12 air-dropped gravity bomb, originally slated for next spring, is now planned for this December.

Asked for comment, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder responded via email that “while we aren’t going to discuss details of our nuclear arsenal, modernization of U.S. B61 nuclear weapons has been underway for years and plans to safely and responsibly swap out older weapons for the upgraded B61-12 versions is part of a long-planned and scheduled modernization effort.”

“It is in no way linked to current events in Ukraine and was not sped up in any way,” he said.

Read also: Head of Pentagon holds talks with British counterpart on supporting Ukraine

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, after announcing mobilization in Russia on Sept. 21, once again threatened Western countries with the use of nuclear weapons, saying “this is not a bluff.”

Earlier, Ukrainian intelligence said that Kyiv considers the threat of Russia using tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine to be “very high.”

Read also: Ukraine’s defense chief Reznikov skeptical about Moscow’s nuke threats

At the same time, according to the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, Russia is not expected to launch a nuclear strike in the near future.

Meanwhile, the United States has said use of nuclear weapons by Russia against Ukraine will produce a decisive response from Washington and its allies. At the same time, U.S. President Joe Biden has said he doesn’t think Putin will use nuclear weapons.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine