The US has privately communicated to Russia for the past several months that there will be consequences if Moscow chooses to use a nuclear weapon in the Ukraine war, according to US officials.

It was not immediately clear how or when the warnings were sent. The State Department was involved, according to one official. The Biden administration has also leaned heavily on intelligence channels to communicate sensitive messages to Moscow throughout the buildup and prosecution of Russia's war in Ukraine, including recently in the negotiations over wrongfully detained Americans.

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