In breaking news, the Russian news agency Russia Today has reported that several military targets within the Ukraine have been struck with tactical nuclear weapons.
Among the targets listed are airbases around Kharkov, Dnipro and Kiev. Disturbingly, several installations in the West of the Ukraine have been hit, including a logistics hub 30 kilometres outside of Lvov, close to the Polish border.
This constitutes the first time that nuclear weapons have been fired in anger since World War 2, when atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ukraine is only the second country ever to suffer a nuclear strike.
No reports of casualty numbers have come through as of yet, however anonymous intelligence officials have assured the press that they will be “mostly military, at this stage.” Regardless, they are understood to be out of all proportion to casualties incurred by either side in the conflict so far.
In a brief statement, American President Joe Biden has stated that given the nature of the attack, NATO has no option but to “respond in kind.” He also reassured Americans that he would refrain from using “strategic weapons” unless “provoked”.
The simulation in the video below suggests how the scenario is likely to play out over coming hours.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has advised residents of all of Australia’s major cities to “evacuate as soon as practical.”
XYZ News will keep readers updated on the situation.