A former CIA director has said the US would destroy Russia’s troops if Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons.
Last week, the Russian President announced the annex of four Ukrainian regions, despite international criticism over the 'illegal' move.
The regions include Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, which Putin claimed to now be part of Russia during an event at the Kremlin on Friday (30 September).
David Petraeus, who once served as the director of the CIA, took to ABC's This Week to slam the move, describing it as 'desperate' since the announcement was made as Russian forces were retreating.
He also spoke about Putin's threats to use nuclear weaponry as part of his ongoing war against Ukraine.
Although Petraeus said he's yet to speak to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about what the country's response would be, he offered up a hypothetical scenario, suggesting the US and its allies would destroy Russia's military.
The former United States Army general told ABC: "Just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a NATO – a collective – effort that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea."
Despite the fact that Ukraine's not in NATO, Petraeus said the situation would trigger a 'US and NATO response', adding: "You don't want to, again, get into a nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that this cannot be accepted in any way."
Speaking about the annexation, he said Putin is 'losing'.
"President Zelenskyy and Ukraine have mobilised vastly better than has Russia," he explained.
"In other words, Ukraine has recruited, trained, equipped, organised and employed forces incomparably better than Russia has. And the reality facing Russia now is that Ukraine – a country a third the size of Russia – has a bigger, much more effective army on the ground and other assets as well.
"All of this, of course, supported by the arsenal of democracy - the United States now up to $17 billion, over $1 billion announced this week, in military arms, ammunition and materiel - and also supported by the other NATO countries and other western countries around the world.
"So he faces a situation that I think again is irreversible.
"There are no amount of shambolic mobilisation, which is the only way to describe it, no amount of annexation, no amount of even veiled nuclear threats can actually get him out of this particular situation."
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