Putin says he hasnt gone mad but would still launch nukes as tensions grow

Vladimir Putin has insisted that Russia hasn't "gone mad" but warns that the threat of a nuclear war is "rising" amid growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Speaking in a televised meeting of Russia's Human Rights Council, the Kremlin leader claimed that his country's nuclear weapons are used as a deterrent, not a way to escalate the conflict.

"We haven't gone mad. We fully understand what nuclear weapons are. We have them, and they are more advanced and state-of-the-art than what any other nuclear power have," Putin said.

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He continued: "We aren't going to brandish those weapons like a razor running around the world, but we naturally proceed from their existence."

"It's a factor of deterrence, not a factor provoking an escalation of the conflict."

However, the Russian president, who launched an invasion of Ukraine in February, didn't rule out the possibility that Russia could use its nuclear weapons, reiterating that they are willing to use "all available means".

He added: "As for the idea that Russia wouldn't use such weapons first under any circumstances, then it means we wouldn't be able to be the second to use them either, because the possibility to do so in case of an attack on our territory would be very limited."

Putin said that Russia has a "launch on warning" doctrine when it comes to their use of nuclear weapons, he explained: "It means that if we come under strike, we strike back in response."

In the discussion about Russia's threats of using nuclear weapons, Putin also claimed that he'd had to "emphasise" his remarks in response to comments made by former Prime Minister Liz Truss, the Mirror reports.

During her race to become the leader of the Conservative Party this summer, Truss had said that she would be "ready" to use nuclear weapons if necessary.

Putin said he'd had to "emphasise certain things in response" but added that while Truss' remarks went "largely unnoticed" his own were used to "scare the world".

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