Biden warns Putin’s ‘back is against the wall’ in Ukraine and says the Russian president may be considering using biological or chemical weapons

President Joe Biden warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin may consider using chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine as his military struggles to achieve clear objectives. 

The White House said earlier this month that Putin has made false claims that both the US and Ukraine have biological and chemical weapons — allegations Biden denied while speaking at the Business Roundtable’s CEO Quarterly Meeting in Washington, DC, on Monday.

“His back is against the wall,” Biden said. “That’s a clear sign he’s considering using both of those.”

He added: “He’s already used chemical weapons in the past, and we should we careful of what’s about to come.”

Biden also said he believes Russia may be likely to deploy cyberattacks against the US, and urged the private sector to bolster its cyber defenses. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly four weeks ago, Western officials have expressed concern that Putin is manufacturing a pretext to justify using chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine.

Biden previously vowed that Putin would suffer consequences if he deploys chemical weapons against Ukrainians. 

“I’m not going to speak about the intelligence, but Russia would pay a severe price if it used chemical weapons,” Biden said at the White House earlier in March.

Chemical and biological weapons were banned under the Geneva Protocol after the First World War.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was supposed to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons, though the US and experts believe the country still holds on to a secretive supply. The Kremlin had previously denied that it would launch a chemical weapons attack on Ukrainians.  

Meanwhile, Russia’s advance on Ukraine has appeared to be largely stalled across all fronts, as Putin’s forces struggle to achieve its military objectives — including capturing the capital city Kyiv. 

Russian forces have ramped up their assault on Ukrainian cities, and have since hit shelters and a maternity hospital.

The ongoing war has forced a devastating refugee crisis that has now seen over 10 million Ukrainians displaced from their homes, with millions flooding across the border and into neighboring countries.