Americas top intelligence agency said Vladimir Putin would continue to build Russia's nuclear arsenal amid heavy losses in the Ukraine battlefield.
What Happened: The nation's top intelligence agency, in its 35-page intelligence assessment report, wrote that Putin would become more dependent on nuclear weapons in order to deter Kyiv and its powerful Western allies.
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"Throughout its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has continued to show that it views its nuclear capabilities as necessary for maintaining deterrence and achieving its goals in a potential conflict against the U.S. and NATO and it sees its nuclear weapons arsenal as the ultimate guarantor of the Russian Federation," it said.
The warning from the top U.S. intelligence community comes amid intensified Russian assault in Ukraine and as Putin suspended his countrys participation in the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty.
The report added that the losses and punishing rounds of sanctions had crippled the Kremlin's ability to finance its war machine.
"Heavy losses to its ground forces and the large-scale expenditures of precision-guided munitions during the conflict have degraded Moscow's ground and air-based conventional capabilities and increased its reliance on nuclear weapons," the intelligence community wrote.
Putin, who often boasts about Russia's largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world, has previously threatened to use them in response to Ukrainian military progress on the battlefield.
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