Putin orders nuclear deterrent forces put on high alert
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his country’s nuclear defense systems be put on higher alert, citing what he says are threats from the West amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,” Putin said in a televised address on Sunday, The Associated Press reported.
Putin said leaders from NATO alliance countries have in recent days made a number of “aggressive” statements, in addition to slapping sanctions on Russia and its top banks and officials.
Russia’s nuclear weapons will be prepared for increased readiness to launch following Putin’s remarks, the AP noted.
Putin has been widely condemned by the international community for launching an assault on Ukraine from multiple directions last week. Dozens have been killed during airstrikes and fighting near Ukraine’s major cities in recent days, with the U.S. and other allies of Ukraine pledging to help the nation’s forces fight off Putin’s troops.
Last week, Putin warned countries that interference with Russian actions will face “consequences you have never seen.”
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