Putin Boasts of New 'Invincible' Weapon
Russian leader says new missile can go anywhere and cannot be stopped
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2018 6:10 AM CST
Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Manezh in Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2018.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin's annual speech to lawmakers Thursday contained what appears to be a jarring threat to the US and the rest of the world: Russia has a new, "invincible" missile that can go anywhere and cannot be stopped, he said. A video graphic behind Putin showed a missile taking off from Russia, zooming across the Atlantic to South America, then turning north toward the US, reports the Washington Post. "I hope everything that has been said today will sober any potential aggressor," Putin said, without naming names. He added that Russia had developed the nuclear-capable weapon, which "missile defenses will be useless against," despite skepticism about Moscow's abilities. "Nobody listened to us," he said, per NBC News. "Well listen to us now."

Putin, who asserted that Moscow has "no plans to be an aggressor," also said Russia had a new underwater drone capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, reports the AP. And he declared that any use of nuclear weapons against one of its allies—again, he did not mention specific nations—would be considered a nuclear attack on Russia and that Moscow would respond in kind. All in all, the two-hour speech suggested "a new arms race" between Russia and the West, observes the Guardian. The speech comes less than three weeks before Putin is expected to easily win another six-year term, reports the BBC. He used much of the address to focus on economic reforms, promising among other things to reduce the rate of poverty by half in the next six years.

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