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Friday, July 12, 2024  
05 Muharram 1446  

Putin warns the West: Russia is ready for nuclear war

Says no one was rushing to nuclear conflict

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday that Russia was technically ready for nuclear war and that if the U.S. sent troops to Ukraine it would be considered a significant escalation of the war.

Putin, speaking just days before a March 15-17 election which is certain to give him another six years in power, said the nuclear war scenario was not “rushing” up and he saw no need for the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

“From a military-technical point of view, we are, of course, ready,” Putin, 71, told Rossiya-1 television and news agency RIA in response to a question whether the country was really ready for a nuclear war.

Putin said the U.S. understood that if it deployed American troops on Russian territory - or to Ukraine - Russia would treat the move as an intervention.

“(In the United States) there are enough specialists in the field of Russian-American relations and in the field of strategic restraint,” Putin said.

“Therefore, I don’t think that here everything is rushing to it (nuclear confrontation), but we are ready for this.”

The war in Ukraine has triggered the deepest crisis in Russia’s relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and Putin has warned several times that the West risks provoking a nuclear war if it sends troops to fight in Ukraine.

Putin sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering full-scale war after eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces on one side and pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russian proxies on the other.

The first such move in months

Western leaders have promised to defeat Russia in Ukraine, but after two years of war, Russian forces control a little under one fifth of Ukrainian territory.

In a U.S. election year, the West is grappling with how to support Kyiv against Russia which has bolstered its army with hundreds of thousands of men and is rearming much faster than the West.

Kyiv says it is defending itself against an imperial-style war of conquest designed to erase its national identity. Russia says the areas it controls in Ukraine are now Russia.

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Vladimir Putin

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