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Putin says any country that attacks Russia with nukes will be wiped off the face of the earth

Vladimir Putin vowed on Friday that any country that dared attack Russia with nuclear weapons would be wiped from the face of the earth.

The Russian president said Russia had no mandate to launch a preventative first nuclear strike, unlike the United States, but that Russia’s advanced hypersonic weapons would ensure Russia could respond forcefully if it ever came under attack.

His comments came during a press conference this afternoon following a meeting of regional leaders in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. 

Putin also told reporters that a deal would ultimately need to be struck to end the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, claiming the Kremlin was open to reaching an agreement, but declared that trust with Western and Ukrainian powers was ‘almost zero’. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference following the Eurasian Economic Union summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, December 9, 2022 

Putin said Russia had no mandate to launch a preventative first strike, but that his hypersonic weapons would ensure Moscow could respond with great force should it come under attack (Russian test launch of Sarmat ICBM)

Putin said Russia had no mandate to launch a preventative first strike, but that his hypersonic weapons would ensure Moscow could respond with great force should it come under attack (Russian test launch of Sarmat ICBM)

Putin spoke at length with reporters in Bishkek in today’s press conference, covering a range of subjects regarding the war in Ukraine. 

Addressing the media following a meeting with leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union – consisting of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia – Putin said Russia wanted to find a peaceful solution in Ukraine, but was betrayed by the breakdown of the Minsk agreements.

The Kremlin chief said Germany and France – which brokered ceasefire agreements in the Belarusian capital Minsk between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and 2015 – had betrayed Russia and were now pumping Ukraine with weapons.

In an interview published in Germany’s Zeit magazine on Wednesday, former German chancellor Angela Merkel said that the Minsk agreements were drawn up merely in an attempt to ‘give Ukraine time’ to build up its defences in the face of Russian aggression – comments which Putin claimed have ‘disappointed’ him. 

In this file photo taken on August 20, 2021 Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel enter the hall for a joint news conference following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow

In this file photo taken on August 20, 2021 Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel enter the hall for a joint news conference following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (L) shake hands during their meeting on the sidelines of the Eurasian Economic Union's (EAEU) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 09 December 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (L) shake hands during their meeting on the sidelines of the Eurasian Economic Union’s (EAEU) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 09 December 2022

Putin went on to discuss yesterday’s high-profile prisoner swap between Washington and Moscow, saying more U.S.-Russian prisoner exchanges are possible moving forward after yesterday’s event in the United Arab Emirates proceeded without issue. 

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, widely known as the Merchant of Death, was swapped on Thursday for WNBA star and two-time Olympian Brittney Griner.

Asked whether other prisoners could be swapped, Putin replied that ‘everything is possible,’ noting that ‘compromises were found’ to clear Thursday’s exchange of Griner for Bout.

‘We aren’t refusing to continue this work in the future,’ he added.

Despite negotiating the swap for Griner, the most high-profile American jailed abroad, the U.S. failed to win freedom for another American, corporate security exec and former marine Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in Russia since December 2018. 

The decision to exchange a basketballer for a world-renowned arms dealer and intelligence asset has angered many U.S. politicians and commentators.   

Pictured: Brittney Griner is seen on a plane on her way back to the U.S.

Pictured: Brittney Griner is seen on a plane on her way back to the U.S.

Pictured: 'Merchant of Death' Viktor Bout is seen onboard a plane heading back to Russia

Pictured: ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout is seen onboard a plane heading back to Russia

Arms smuggler Viktor Bout from Russia is escorted by a member of the special police unit as he arrives at a criminal court in Bangkok October 4, 2010

Arms smuggler Viktor Bout from Russia is escorted by a member of the special police unit as he arrives at a criminal court in Bangkok October 4, 2010

The Russian president later told the media he agreed with the decision of courts to imprison one of his critics and political opponents – though he claimed to have no knowledge of the detainee.

A Moscow court today sentenced opposition politician Ilya Yashin to eight and a half years in prison for spreading ‘false information’ about Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, the highest-profile conviction under new legislation criminalising criticism of the assault.

The 39-year-old – an ally of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny and Boris Nemtsov, a former opponent of Putin who was assassinated in 2015 – is just the latest in a long line of Kremlin critics to have been sidelined in recent years in a crackdown that has intensified after Putin sent troops to Ukraine.

His supporters in the courtroom applauded Yashin, who smiled and waved to family despite being handcuffed, as the sentence was read out.

Judge Oksana Goryunova said Yashin had committed a crime by disseminating ‘knowingly false information about Russia’s armed forces’ and sentenced him to eight years and six months in a penal colony.

In April, he had described the alleged murder of civilians in Bucha as a ‘massacre’, referring to a town near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv where civilians were found killed after Russian forces pulled back.

But when asked about Yashin’s conviction on Friday, Putin feigned ignorance and asked: ‘And who is he? A blogger?

‘I think its inadvisable to question the court’s decision. 

Russian opposition leader, former Moscow's municipal deputy Ilya Yashin (C) stands inside a defendant's cage prior to a verdict hearing at the Meshchansky district court in Moscow, Russia, 09 December 2022

Russian opposition leader, former Moscow’s municipal deputy Ilya Yashin (C) stands inside a defendant’s cage prior to a verdict hearing at the Meshchansky district court in Moscow, Russia, 09 December 2022

Yashin showed a peace sign from his defendant's cage in court as he was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison

Yashin showed a peace sign from his defendant’s cage in court as he was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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