Putin: The nuclear threat is growing, but we are not crazy to use weapons first
Vladimir Putin has stated today that the threat of a nuclear war is increasing. But he insists that, "Russia is not crazy to use its nuclear weapons first."
The Russian president, speaking at the annual meeting of the Russian Human Rights Council about the prospect of a nuclear war, said his country would use weapons of mass destruction only in response to an attack.
"Such a threat is growing, it would be a mistake to hide it," Putin warned.
But he asserted that Russia "under no circumstances" would use the first weapons and would not threaten anyone with its nuclear arsenal.
"We're not crazy, we're aware of what nuclear weapons are," he said, adding: "We're not going to run around the world brandishing these weapons."
Putin also boasted that Russia had the most modern and advanced nuclear weapons in the world and compared its nuclear strategy to the US, which he said had gone even further than Russia, deploying its nuclear weapons in other territories.
"We do not have nuclear weapons, including tactical ones, on the territory of other countries, but the Americans do in Turkey and in a number of other European countries," he said.
Putin also said the war in Ukraine could be a long process, at a time when Western officials believe Putin originally planned for a quick victory.