Russia boosts nuclear forces amid ‘hybrid war’ with the West: Putin

Al Jazeera :
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow is upgrading its nuclear arsenal and keeping its strategic forces at the highest level of readiness as the West wages a “hybrid war” against it.

Moscow would continue what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, and all attempts to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia had crumbled, Putin told a conference of senior defence officials on Tuesday.

The Russian leader also accused the United States of exploiting Europe for its own interests and said his country planned no war on Europe.

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Russia would be prepared to talk to Ukraine, the US and Europe about the future of Ukraine if they wanted to, but Moscow would defend its national interests, Putin said.

“In Ukraine, those who are aggressive towards Russia, and in Europe and in the United States – do they want to negotiate? Let them. But we will do it based on our national interests,” he said. “We will not give up what is ours.”

Russia would proceed from its own interests when dealing with Ukraine, regardless of Kyiv’s attempts to make any agreements, said Putin, who last week announced that his country’s goals in Ukraine remain unchanged and there will be no peace until they are achieved.