Putin doubles down on nuclear capabilities in sit-down interview with NBC

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017.

In comments Thursday on Twitter, Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said: "Giving half the time in the annual address to the Russian parliament to a graphic description of new weapons' capabilities is a measure of how close the U.S. and Russia have moved toward military collision". "The point why this is so important is, we haven't heard this kind of thing, really, since the Cold War. You listen to us now".

"We can not respond to that if they don't violate Russian laws", Putin told NBC's Megyn Kelly.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters it was "unfortunate" to have watched a video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States.

"The rally For Strong Russia, organized at the Luzhniki sports complex features more than 130,000 participants", she said.

Putin's bombshell announcement comes as he is set to easily win another six-year presidential term in the March 18 election.

In his almost two hour speech, Putin showed tests of a new missile system he said could fly at 20 times the speed of sound and maneuver up and down, and is not owned by any other country.

"This has to go through official channels, not through the press or yelling and hollering in the United States Congress", Putin said.

Other observers are skeptical about Russia's supposed new arsenal, because Moscow has not shown proof of successful tests.

Putin said: "I have to see first what they've done".

A nuclear-powered cruise missile: Putin boasted that the Russians had developed a low-flying cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could stay aloft indefinitely: It would be powered by a nuclear power plant.

And naming the stealth atomic-powered cruise missile after a Russian folk musical instrument tapped into a long Russian tradition of giving innocuous names to some of the deadliest weapons.

Although Putin said his announcement was meant to get the attention of the USA, he also said he was open to talks with Washington.

Another new weapon, called Avangard, is an intercontinental hypersonic missile that would fly at 20 times the speed of sound and strike its targets "like a meteorite, like a fireball", he said.

Putin made the comment during an interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly on Thursday.

He compared Putin's address to former British prime minister Winston Churchill's 1946 speech in which he condemned the Soviet Union and effectively announced the beginning of the Cold War.

He said that another new weapons system, called Kinzhal, already has been deployed in Russia's Southern Military District. "If you do not have a legal degree, I can explain to you". "You have failed to contain Russian Federation". It specifically points to a Russian doctrine known as "escalate to de-escalate", in which Moscow would use or threaten to use lower-yield nuclear weapons in a limited, conventional conflict in Europe in the belief that doing so would compel the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to back down.

Speaking weeks before an election he is expected to win, Putin also said that a nuclear attack on any of Moscow's allies would be regarded as an attack on Russian Federation itself and draw an immediate response. "It will trigger an immediate answer with all the consequences stemming from it".

  • Kara Saunders