The USA and its allies will destroy russian troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea Fleet, if russian president putin uses nuclear weapons. Former CIA director and retired Army General David Petraeus warned about this on Sunday, - BBC reports, citing the Guardian newspaper.
Petraeus said he had not discussed the likely USA response to russia's nuclear escalation with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, but what that response would be has been repeatedly reported to moscow.
"Just to give you a hypothetical idea - we would respond by leading a collective NATO effort that would destroy every conventional russian force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine as well as in the Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea", - Petraeus said in an interview with BBC.
When asked if russia's use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would drag the USA and NATO into the war, Petraeus replied that this would not trigger Article 5 of the North Atlantic Alliance on collective defense, since Ukraine is not part of the alliance, but "the response of the USA and NATO" would be appropriate.
Petraeus acknowledged that the possibility of radiation spreading after the use of nuclear weapons by russia on NATO countries under the auspices of Article 5 could be interpreted as an attack on a NATO member country.
"This cannot go unanswered", - the retired general added.
The ex-CIA director believes that putin is "in despair" because of the successful counter-offensive of Ukrainian forces in the east of the country.
"The reality of the battlefield that he is facing is, I think, irreversible, - Petraeus said. - No indiscriminate mobilization, no annexation, no even veiled nuclear threats can get him out of this particular situation".
"And even the use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield will change nothing", - the ex-CIA director added.