“A decision on the use of nuclear weapons may only be taken if our ballistic missile attack warning system not only detects a launch, but also predicts that the warheads would hit Russian territory. This is called a retaliation strike,” he said in an interview. “If somebody decides to destroy Russia, we are justified in such a response.”
Russia’s latest edition of its nuclear doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack against Russia or its allies, or a conventional attack that threatens the existence of Russia. Putin says the country’s existence is of paramount importance to him.
“Certainly it would be a global disaster for humanity; a disaster for the entire world. But as a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state I must ask myself: Why would we want a world without Russia?” he explained.
The remarks are part of a new documentary produced by journalist Vladimir Solovyev, based on several exclusive interviews with the Russian president. The film explores how the Russian government sees the nation’s place in the world today.
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