Putin: “Russians ‘will go to heaven’ in event of nuclear war”

MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA – SEPTEMBER 19, 2018: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at a ceremony to bless the foundation stone of the Russian Armed Forces’ main cathedral in Patriot military park. The cathedral is to be built by 2020, the year of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS
Ðîññèÿ. Ìîñêîâñêàÿ îáëàñòü. Ïðåçèäåíò ÐÔ Âëàäèìèð Ïóòèí è ïàòðèàðõ Ìîñêîâñêèé è âñåÿ Ðóñè Êèðèëë (ñëåâà íàïðàâî) íà òîðæåñòâåííîé öåðåìîíèè çàêëàäêè êàìíÿ â îñíîâàíèå ãëàâíîãî õðàìà Âîîðóæåííûõ ñèë ÐÔ íà òåððèòîðèè âîåííî-ïàòðèîòè÷åñêîãî ïàðêà êóëüòóðû è îòäûõà Âîîðóæåííûõ Ñèë ÐÔ “Ïàòðèîò” â Äåíü îðóæåéíèêà. Ãëàâíûé õðàì Âîîðóæåííûõ ñèë ÐÔ ïëàíèðóåòñÿ âîçâåñòè â ïàðêå “Ïàòðèîò” ê 2020 ãîäó – ê 75-ëåòèþ Ïîáåäû â Âåëèêîé Îòå÷åñòâåííîé âîéíå. Àëåêñåé Íèêîëüñêèé/ïðåññ-ñëóæáà ïðåçèäåíòà ÐÔ/ÒÀÑÑ

Sochi (Russia) (AFP) – Russians will “go to heaven” as martyrs in the event of nuclear war because Moscow will only ever use nuclear weapons in retaliation, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

“We have no concept of a preemptive strike,” Putin told a forum of international experts in the southern city of Sochi in response to a question from the audience.

“In such a situation, we expect to be struck by nuclear weapons, but we will not use them” first, he said.

“The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that it will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven.

“They will simply die because they won’t even have time to repent,” he said to some laughter from the audience.

Putin last year unveiled “invincible” new weapons that would render Western missile defence systems obsolete.

In 2016 he called for the country to reinforce its military nuclear potential.

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