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Putin claims the West wants to destroy Russia and warns of NATO’s nuclear capabilities

Vladimir Putin claims the West wants to destroy Russia and warns of NATO’s nuclear capabilities as he claims his people may not survive

Vladimir Putin yesterday accused the West of wanting to liquidate Russia and claimed his people might not survive.

The Russian president said Western countries were trying to dismantle Russia and Moscow had no choice but to consider NATO’s nuclear capabilities.

Putin told state television channel Rossiya 1: “If all the leading NATO countries have declared that their main goal is to inflict a strategic defeat on us, so that our people suffer as they say, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities?”

Putin has repeatedly used the claim that the West wants to liquidate Russia to justify his aggression in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Eternal Flame and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow’s Alexander Garden

“They have one goal: to dissolve the former Soviet Union and its fundamental part – the Russian Federation,” Putin said in the interview, which was taped on Wednesday and broadcast yesterday.

Appealing to nationalistic sentiments, Putin said that if the West succeeds in destroying Russia, “such an ethnic group as the Russian people may not be able to survive in the form in which it now exists.”

“There will be Muscovites, Uralians and others,” he said of the possible fragmentation of Russia. He also claimed that the West was an indirect accomplice in the “crimes” committed by Ukraine.

Putin made the remarks as he justified Russia’s suspension of its participation in the New START treaty, which aims to limit the number of nuclear warheads in the possession of the US and Russia.

He said the suspension stemmed from the need to “ensure security and stability” for Russia.