August 14, 2022

In a likely reference to the countries ballistic weapons and nuclear arsenal, Putin said: “We have all the tools [to respond] that no one can boast of. And we will not be bragging about them, we will use them if necessary.”

He added that all decisions on what these responses would be have already been made, but provided no detail on this.

His comments come after foreign secretary Liz Truss called for a “doubling down” on support for Ukraine.

In recent days, Russia has launched a major offensive on the Donbas region of Ukraine, after withdrawing from areas surrounding Kyiv.

After failing in its campaign in the west of the country, Russia is turning its attention to the east.

In a speech on Wednesday night, she said the UK would “keep going further and faster to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine,” and labelled Putin a “desperate rogue operator with no interest in international norms”.

“Some argue we shouldn’t provide heavy weapons for fear of provoking something worse. But my view, is that inaction would be the greatest provocation. This is a time for courage not for caution,” she said.

Russia has already threatened the UK with a “proportional response” if it continues to supply Ukraine with weapons.

And on Monday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov accused Nato of engaging “in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy.”

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