“He is out of control, and I don’t think he really has concern for much of anything but what he wants,” said Robin Thompson, a retired researcher from Amherst, Massachusetts. “And he has nuclear weapons.”

Russia’s war on Ukraine has most Americans at least somewhat worried that the U.S. will be drawn directly into the conflict and could be targeted with nuclear weapons, with a new poll reflecting a level of anxiety that has echoes of the Cold War era.

Close to half of Americans say they are very concerned that Russia would directly target the U.S. with nuclear weapons, and an additional 3 in 10 are somewhat concerned about that, according to the new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Russian President Vladimir Putin placed his country’s nuclear forces on high alert shortly after the Feb. 24 invasion.

Roughly 9 in 10 Americans are at least somewhat concerned that Putin might use a nuclear weapon against Ukraine, including about 6 in 10 who are very concerned.

“He is out of control, and I don’t think he really has concern for much of anything but what he wants,” said Robin Thompson, a retired researcher from Amherst, Massachusetts. “And he has nuclear weapons.”

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