Feb 29, 2024 17:27 UTC
  •  Putin warns West of nuclear war risk over troops in Ukraine

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says certain Western countries are risking triggering a nuclear war by deploying boots in eastern Ukraine, warning Moscow could strike Western targets.

Putin was delivering his annual state of the nation speech on Thursday. He had previously spoken of the dangers of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, but his nuclear warning on Thursday was one of his most explicit.

He said that perhaps leaders in the West could not understand how risking their provocations were, and warned them once again about the catastrophic danger of meddling in Russia’s internal affairs.

Putin linked his nuclear warning to remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this week.

Macron told reporters at a news conference on Monday that while he and other European leaders were not in agreement about sending Western countries’ military forces to fight Russia, he had no objections to dispatching troops to Ukraine. “We will do anything we can to prevent Russia from winning this war.”

“Nothing should be ruled out,” Macron stated.

However, the French president’s suggestion was quickly rejected by the United States, Germany, Britain and Kiev allies who have been supplying weapons and munitions to Ukraine.

"(Western nations) must realize that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory,” Putin said.

Leonid Slutsky, the international affairs head of Russia’s State Duma’s committee, the lower house of the federal assembly of Russia, warned that dispatching troops to Donbas means the start of World War III.

“If NATO soldiers set foot on the land of Donbas, this will mean transition to the direct military phase of NATO's struggle with Russia.”

“This spells World War III. I hope that even most frenzied NATO Russophobes are aware of the possible consequences of such decisions,” Slutsky said.