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Vladimir Putin has escalated his nuclear threats even further.

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly made both veiled and direct threats against Ukraine and its allies to utilize nuclear weaponry in order to achieve his goals. So far, Russia has merely flaunted its nuclear arsenal rather than utilize it, but over the weekend, it was announced that the nuclear threat would be further escalated.

On Sunday, Putin announced that Russia would be deploying a squad of fighter jets to its allied country of Belarus on Ukraine’s northern border. Each of these jets will be equipped with nuke-equipped tactical hypersonic missiles which, while not as overtly dangerous as strategic nuclear payloads, still makes for a major escalation of threat. Putin claimed that this new deployment is in response to the United States’ recent efforts to supply Ukrainian troops with depleted-uranium-tipped ammunition, though Russia is known to employ such ammunition themselves.

Putin’s decision has drawn widespread condemnation from the members of NATO and its allies. “Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible,” NATO Oana Lungescu said Sunday. “Russia’s reference to NATO’s nuclear sharing is totally misleading. NATO allies act with full respect of their international commitments… Russia has consistently broken its arms control commitments.”

“NATO is vigilant and we are closely monitoring the situation,” Lungescu said, adding that NATO had not “seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that would lead us to adjust our own.”

Biden Administration National Security Council spokesman John Kirby echoed the statement that Russia does not appear to be planning to actively utilize the nuclear missiles, saying the White House had “seen nothing that would indicate Mr. Putin is preparing to use tactical nuclear weapons in any way whatsoever in Ukraine.”

“I can also tell you that we haven’t seen anything that would cause us to change our own strategic nuclear deterrent posture,” Kirby said.

Ukrainian officials have called a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address the potential nuclear threat.