Russian President, Vladimir Putin has warned the West that he will use nuclear weapons if any other country intervenes in his war in Ukraine.
Speaking to politicians in St Petersburg, the Russian president said that “if anyone sets out to intervene in the current events from the outside and creates unacceptable threats for us that are strategic in nature, they should know that our response… will be lightning-fast”.
Putin said that the military would not hesitate to use the most modern weaponry, in an escalating war of words days after Russia warned of a “real” threat of World War Three, The Telegraph reports.
Four days after the February invasion, Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert.
“We have all the tools for this, that no one else can boast of having. We won’t boast about it: we’ll use them if needed.
And I want everyone to know that,” Putin said, in a veiled reference to Moscow’s nuclear arsenal.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has warned the country has “extremely difficult weeks” ahead, saying there will be major “destruction” in a developing Russian offensive in the east.
“Some extremely difficult weeks lie ahead,” Reznikov said in a statement on Facebook.
“Russia has already gathered forces for a large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine,” he added, saying Moscow “will try to inflict as much pain as possible” and warned of “destruction and painful casualties”.