Speed Reads

'be ready'

Zelensky: Possible Russian nuclear weapon use should be a concern for 'all of the world'

The world should be prepared for Russia to use nuclear weapons in its war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday.

In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Zelensky said Russian President Vladimir Putin "could turn to either nuclear or chemical weapons because he does not value the lives of the people of Ukraine," CNN summarized.

"Not only me – all of the world, all of the countries have to be worried because it can be not real information, but it can be truth," Zelensky told Tapper, per CNN's transcription.

"Chemical weapons, they should do it, they could do it, for them the life of the people, nothing. That's why," he continued. "We should think not be afraid, not be afraid, but be ready. But that is not a question for Ukraine, not only for Ukraine but for all the world, I think."

United States officials have previously warned that Putin could turn to tactical nuclear weapons should he feel threatened enough in Ukraine, CNN notes. The U.S. and other Western countries are also investigating claims that Russian forces may have already used chemical weapons in the devastated city of Mariupol.

President Biden previously warned of a NATO response should Russia employ chemical weapons in Ukraine, but it's still unclear what exactly the response would be or where the definite red line is.