In a preview for this Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley asked the president what words he would have for his Russian counterpart if he is considering using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons in the Ukraine.
Biden responded: ‘Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.’
When Pelley pushed the president for America’s response should Putin cross the line, Biden declined to comment on a specific plan, only saying that the US would act if nuclear weapons are put into play.
‘It’ll be consequential,’ Biden said. ‘[Russia] will become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been.
‘And depending on the extent of what they do will determine what response would occur.’
Biden’s response comes a day after his administration committed to sending another $600 million in military aid to Ukraine, which successfully took back another major city from Russian forces on Wednesday.
The White House said it was the 21st time that the Defense Department has pulled weapons and other equipment off the shelves to deliver to Ukraine.
The package will include more of the same types of ammunition and equipment that have helped Ukrainian forces beat back the Russian forces in portions of the east and south.
Most recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky helped raise his nation’s flag over the newly-recaptured Russian stronghold of Izyum as he celebrated a stunning counter-attack that routed Putin’s forces in the north of the country.
‘Ukraine is taking back its own,’ a military spokesman said, as a growing hope of overall victory against Putin’s forces begins to spread across the country in the wake of Russia’s most-recent battlefield humiliation.
The victory came just a week after Ukraine liberated the city Balakliya, as soldiers were seen cheering with local residents freed from Russia’s control.
The cities of Izyum, Kupyansk and Vovchansk which formed the staging post for the Kremlin’s attacks in the region and contain key railway lines to get ammo and other supplies to its soldiers are now under Ukrainian control.
Moscow’s recent rout in northeast Ukraine was its largest military defeat since the withdrawal of Russian troops from areas near Kyiv more than five months ago.
In a statement about America’s commitment to Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: ‘ With admirable grit and determination, the people of Ukraine are defending their homeland and fighting for their future.
‘The capabilities we are delivering are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s hand at the negotiating table when the time is right.’
The decision to move on new aid quickly – on the heels of a nearly $2.9 billion infusion of aid and financing support announced last week and more than $3 billion announced in late August – underscore the U.S. intent to ensure that Ukraine can sustain its stunning counterattack that was launched early this month.
That most recent funding included $2.2 billion in long-term military financing that Blinken announced during a visit to Ukraine last week, and a $675 million weapons package announced by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Europe that same day.
The $2.2 billion that Blinken announced in Kyiv is for Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including NATO members and regional security partners, that are potentially at risk of future Russian aggression, the U.S. said.
The latest package of weapons systems brings the total amount of U.S. aid to Ukraine to nearly $15.9 billion since Biden took office.
U.S. officials watching the counteroffensive have been careful not to declare a premature victory, noting that Russia still has substantial troops and resources.
And they are wary of what Putin may do to turn the tide.
But U.S. leaders also have made clear that the precision weapons and rocket systems provided by the U.S. and allies – including the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, and the High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile, or HARM – have been key to the dramatic shift in momentum.