Putin says West sending troops to Ukraine could lead to nuclear war

Putin says West sending troops to Ukraine could lead to nuclear war
Putin says West sending troops to Ukraine could lead to nuclear war

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West of the risk of nuclear war if they send their own troops to fight for Ukraine, saying Moscow had the weapons to strike Western targets.

In his annual state of the nation address to Russia’s elite on Thursday, Putin repeated his claims that Russia did not start the war in Ukraine, accused the Western countries of trying to weaken Russia and again warned that the West’s response could trigger a nuclear conflict.

Putin referenced an idea floated by French President Emmanuel Macron, who on Monday said the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine “cannot be ruled out.” Several European leaders swiftly rejected the suggestion.

“Everything that they are coming up with now, with which they threaten the entire world – all this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons, and therefore the destruction of civilization – don’t they understand this, or what?” Putin said.

“They must ultimately understand that we also have weapons – and they know about it, just as I now said – we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory,” he warned.

Putin’s address comes before Russians vote in the March 17 presidential election, when he is expected to sweep to a fifth term and extend his rule until at least 2030.

Putin lauded the progress of Russia’s military, which he said now “firmly holds the initiative” in Ukraine after more than two years of war. After Ukraine’s recent retreat from the eastern town of Avdiivka, Putin said his troops were “confidently advancing in a number of operational areas and liberating more and more territories.” — CNN


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