Russian president, Vladimir Putin has vowed to use nuclear weapons against any country that dares to ‘interfere’ with Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Putin made the chilling threat while addressing legislators in St Petersburg on Thursday April 28, saying his response to anyone who ‘threatens’ Russia will be ‘lightning-fast’ and deadly.
‘If someone intends to interfere in what is going on from the outside they must know that constitutes an unacceptable strategic threat to Russia. They must know that our response to counterstrikes will be lightning fast. Fast,’ he said.
‘We have all the weapons we need for this. No one else can brag about these weapons, and we won’t brag about them. But we will use them.’
While Putin did not mention nuclear weapons directly, many believe he was referring to Russia’s new Sarmat 2 nuclear missile which was tested for the first time just days ago.
During his address on the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Putin promised once again that ‘all objectives will definitely be carried out’ by his ‘heroic’ military.
He praised Russian troops, who he said were fighting to ‘prevent a large-scale conflict’ of exactly the kind he stands accused of causing.
He again repeated unsubstantiated claims that Ukraine was seeking to possess nuclear weapons itself or develop biological weapons, which he said posed ‘a real threat [to] our motherland.’
‘All that confirms our reaction was timely and correct,’ he said.
Railing against Western ‘fascists’, he added: ‘For years they turned our neighbouring Ukraine into an anti-Russia.
‘Let me remind you that Russia was always sympathetic and acted as a friend and as a comrade and as a brother, it viewed the creation of the independent Ukrainian state – at the time we thought this would be a friendly state.
‘We would develop together and strengthen each other and create the best conditions for our competition and development and of course, we didn’t expect they would create anti-Russian on that territory. We cannot allow this.’
He said the West was trying to back the Russian ‘bear’ into a corner but had ‘failed’ in their attempts to divide the country.
On Monday April 25, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Russia is now fighting a proxy war with the whole of NATO and the risk of it turning nuclear is ‘real’.
Speaking to state TV, Lavrov said the current situation is worse than the Cuban missile crisis at the height of the Cold War because of a complete break-down in relations between the two sides.
Asked directly about the possibility of a nuclear war, he said: ‘The risks are very significant. I do not want the danger to be artificially inflated [but] it is serious, real. It cannot be underestimated.’