Biden warns Putin against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine: 'Don't'

Biden said the US response to any further potential attack by Russia would be 'consequential'

President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine in a television interview while declining to say what the consequences would be from the United States if he were to do so.

"Don't. Don't. Don't," Biden told 60 Minutes in an interview set to air on Sunday when asked by CBS reporter Scott Pelley what he would say to Putin if the Russian leader was considering a nuclear escalation in Ukraine.

"You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II," Biden said.

Pelley then asked what consequences Russia would face for such a move and the president declined to get into specifics.

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A side by side photo of President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A side by side photo of President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik / AFP)

"You think I would tell you if I knew exactly what it would be? Of course, I'm not gonna tell you. It'll be consequential," Biden said. "They'll become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been. And depending on the extent of what they do will determine what response would occur."

Biden's warning comes after Ukraine's successful counter-offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region that reportedly took Russian troops by surprise causing them to pull back.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's transport industry via a video link in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2022. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's transport industry via a video link in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2022.  (Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via Reuters)

Western defense officials have said Ukraine is gaining ground and has forced some Russian forces back across their own border. 

Pictures released following Russia’s withdrawal show buildings blackened and destroyed by shelling, animals wandering the streets and, according to officials, signs of torture among the dead.

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In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Saturday, June 18, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with military officials as he visits the war-hit Mykolaiv region.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Saturday, June 18, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with military officials as he visits the war-hit Mykolaiv region. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

"The view is very shocking but it is not shocking for me," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told reporters, "because we began to see the same pictures from Bucha, from the first de-occupied territories… so the same destroyed buildings, killed people."

The head of the Kharkiv prosecutor’s office, Oleksandr Filchakov, said investigators were looking into reports of civilians being killed and buried by Russian soldiers in the town of Balakliia – another town that has been retaken by Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region.

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United Kingdom Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff told Fox News on Tuesday that while Ukraine's "brilliant" counteroffensive operation is "a total humiliation for Putin and for Russian arms," maintaining their success on the battlefield will be a harder feat with a Russian counterattack imminent. 

"It's brilliant. I think it has really far-reaching implications potentially, but let’s be cautious," Shirreff warned. "They’ve achieved great success. They have to maintain their success. Equally, they have to be ready for the Russians to reorganize and counter-attack."

Fox News' Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.