Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he would destroy the world with nuclear missiles if Russia came under attack.
Putin, who was pictured kissing an enamoured fan on the campaign trail this week, made clear that ifRussia was hit by nuclear weapons and faced being wiped out, then the world would not be worth saving.
In a TV documentary he said: ‘I want to tell you, and I want this to be known here and abroad.’
‘Our plans for using it (his nuclear arsenal), I am hoping it will never happen, our theoretical plans of using it is a so-called retaliatory, counter strike.
‘A decision about using nuclear weapon can be made only if our missile warning system recorded not only the launch of missiles, but also gave an accurate prediction of flight trajectories and the time when the warheads fall on Russia.’
He said: ‘This is called a retaliatory, counter strike, when we receive a legal right to respond.
‘Yes this will be a global catastrophe for humankind. It will be a global catastrophe for the world.
‘But as a citizen of Russia, as a head of the Russian state, I want to ask – why do we need a world if Russia ceases to exist?’