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Putin says missile will fire ‘hundreds’ of warheads in clear message on nuclear deterrence


Russian President Vladimir Putin drew international attention again on Friday when he warned that if a single missile enters Russian territory, “hundreds” of warheads will respond.

“I assure you that after the early warning system receives a signal of a missile attack, hundreds of our missiles are in the air,” Putin said from a summit in Kyrgyzstan, Russian media outlet RIA reported. “It’s impossible to stop them.”

“There will be nothing left of the enemy, because it is impossible to intercept a hundred missiles. This, of course, is a deterrent, a serious deterrent,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech to participants of the all-Russian Bolshaya Peremena contest for school students via video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow June 1, 2022.
(MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

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Putin made headlines after he appeared to suggest that he might make changes to Russia’s nuclear deterrence doctrine by employing a first-strike policy, which he referred to as a “disarming strike,” a strategy he said is motivated by the current deterrence policy of the United States.

Russia already has this strategy embedded in its nuclear doctrine.

Washington has a policy that allows it to use a nuclear weapon, not only in retaliation for a nuclear attack but also in response to non-nuclear threats, as does Moscow, explained Rebekah Koffler, a Russia expert and former intelligence at the US Intelligence Agency. Defending. Russian Doctrine and Strategy officer.

“What this was, from an intelligence standpoint, is a ‘strategic message,'” he said, adding that Putin’s comments noted that “Russia can use nuclear weapons in Ukraine if the US and NATO They continue to provide weapons to Ukraine, especially those that Ukraine can use to strike deep into Russia proper.”

Putin’s comments come just days after three separate drone strikes hit bases hundreds of miles inside Russia’s borders, an attack that Moscow blamed squarely on Ukraine.

“Under existing Russian doctrine, Russia can respond with nuclear strikes, because the Engels airbase is home to nuclear-capable bombers that are considered strategic assets, worthy of defending with nuclear weapons,” Koffler explained.

A self-propelled artillery vehicle fires near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on November 9, 2022.

A self-propelled artillery vehicle fires near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on November 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/LIBKOS)

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Kiev has not accepted responsibility for the attacks, but attacks outside Ukraine’s borders, where a brutal war has raged for more than nine months, put top defense officials on high alert this week.

“It is a terrible war in Ukraine. It is also a war that can turn into a full-blown war that turns into a big war between NATO and Russia,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview on Friday.

“There is no question that a full-blown war is a possibility,” he added, noting that NATO was doing everything possible to prevent it.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday accused Putin of engaging in “deeply irresponsible nuclear saber rattling” and said the United States “stands ready to negotiate new arms control agreements with partners operating in good faith.”

Koffler warned that only the rhetoric of the major nuclear powers could escalate the war in Ukraine.

A Yars intercontinental ballistic missile is tested as part of Russia's nuclear exercises from a launch site in Plesetsk, northwest Russia.

A Yars intercontinental ballistic missile is tested as part of Russia’s nuclear exercises from a launch site in Plesetsk, northwest Russia.
(Russian Defense Ministry press service via AP)

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“There is no question that Russia and the United States are climbing a ladder in Ukraine, which may end in Putin’s use of nuclear weapons,” he told Fox News Digital. “Neither side wants to end up in direct conflict, but they are inadvertently climbing this ladder due to a misunderstanding of the other’s position.”

“Both parties are betting that the other will blink first,” he added.

Associated Press contributed to this report.



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