Russia is planning an overhaul of its Soviet-era atomic stockpile and is planning to arm itself with "hypersonic and laser" armaments, President Vladimir Putin has warned.
Fresh from raising fears of an imminent WW3 after warning anyone who threatens to provoke Russia will "come to regret it," the Russian president has now shared plans to modernise his country's weaponry.
Speaking during his state of the nation speech, Putin warned Russia is readying "next-generation" projectiles slated for deployment in the near future.
At a time of acute crisis in ties with the United States and Europe, with Russian troops massed near Ukraine and opposition leader Alexei Navalny on hunger strike in jail, the Kremlin leader used his state of the nation speech to project a message of Russian strength and defiance in the face of outside threats.
"We want good relations…and really don't want to burn bridges," Putin told both houses of parliament.
"But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn down or even blow up these bridges, they should know that Russia's response will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh."
Putin said that as part of the country’s "plans to defend itself" Russia's stockpile of strategic weapons is currently being overhauled, updating older Soviet-era equipment in favour of next-generation technology, such as "hypersonic and laser" armaments, Russian state-controlled network RT reports.
Among the overhaul, he revealed that the advanced RS-28 Sarmat missile will be delivered to troops in the field from 2022.
The liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile has been under development by Russian company Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009.
It boasts up to 15 nuclear warheads which can be directed against individual targets and each delivers 350 kilotons of atomic hellfire.
The President revealed plans to modernise 88% of the country's nuclear weapons this year and two-thirds of all Russian military equipment within the next three years.
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Putin also referenced the Peresvet, a secretive laser cannon that is said to have the potential to shoot down both enemy aircraft and incoming missiles.
RT reports that the weapon has already been deployed to installations across the country.
"We have patience, self-confidence and righteousness on our side," Putin added.
"I hope no one will think of crossing red lines in their relations with Russia. Where that line sits is ours to determine."
Tensions have been escalating in recent weeks with Russia's relationship with the West deteriorating after troops were sent to the frontline near Ukraine.
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US President Joe Biden signed an executive order imposing sanctions in response to Moscow's alleged cyberattacks during the 2020 US election.
It comes as UK troops could head to Ukraine to join forces from the US and other nations amid fears of a Russian invasion.
According to sources, 450 Paras are poised to drop into eastern Europe should the crisis worsen, and could arrive "within 36 hours".
Around 100,000 troops have amassed along the border, and warships are heading to the Caspian Sea.
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