Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, warned Monday that Moscow possesses weapons capable of wiping out an enemy, including the United States.
“Russia is patient and does not intimidate anyone with its military advantage However, it possesses advanced unique weapons capable of destroying any enemy, including the United States, in case of a threat to its existence,” Patrushev said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Moscow’s military doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons if Russian officials believe Russia is facing an existential threat. Patrushev added that Russia would be able to respond to a pre-emptive nuclear strike launched by the US.
“American politicians captivated by their domestic propaganda somehow remain certain that in case of a direct conflict with Russia, the United States is capable of delivering a pre-emptive missile strike, following which Russia will already be unable to retaliate. This is short-sighted absurdity, which is also very dangerous,” Patrushev said.
The warning from Patrushev comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia would deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus. The Russian leader said the move was related to the UK providing Ukraine with depleted uranium ammunition, which is radioactive and is linked to cancer and birth defects.
The US and its allies continue to ramp up support for Ukraine despite the risk of escalation with Russia. Poland and Slovakia recently became the first NATO members to provide fighter jets by pledging Soviet-made MiG 29s, a step NATO previously ruled out over fears Russia could perceive such support as the alliance directly entering the war.