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Vladimir Putin interview. Credit:

March 13, 2024 (EIRNS)—Vladimir Putin gave a comprehensive 1.5-hour interview to RIA Novosti today, which prompted an irresponsible Western media to go wild, twisting Putin’s statements on the use of nuclear weapons. On such a serious subject, it is worth an accurate look. Here is a quote from the interview, which is available from the the video and partly from the Novosti Russian coverage (, mechanically translated from Russian. The official transcript is wholly posted to the President’s Kremlin website:

Dmitry Kiselev, Director General of Rossiya Segodnya, parent company RIA Novosti and Sputnik (among others), asks: “Leaving aside the interference and the electoral battles, the escalation in fact continues. It seems that both superpowers, Russia and the U.S.A., are playing what the Americans call the ‘chicken game’.... Is the crash imminent then?”

Putin demands to know: “Why? The United States announced that they are not going to send troops. We know what American troops in the Russian territory are. These are invaders. That is how we will treat them even if they appear in the territory of Ukraine, and they understand it. I have said that Mr. Biden is a representative of the traditional school and this is proved…. Therefore, I do not think that it is getting closer to a head-on collision. But we are ready for it. I have said many times that it is a matter of life and death for us….”

Kiselev asks: “It is interesting that you said we are ready for it. Philosopher and geopolitical expert Alexander Dugin directly urges to practically prepare for a nuclear war. ‘The better we are ready for it, the less likely such a war is,’ Mr. Dugin states. How can you ever be prepared for it? Are we really ready for a nuclear war?”

Putin replies: “From a military-technical point of view, we are certainly ready. They [the troops] are constantly on alert. This is the first thing.

“Secondly. Our nuclear triad is more advanced than any other one, and this is also a universally recognized fact. We and the Americans are the only ones who have such a triad, actually. Here, we have made a lot more progress. We have a more advanced nuclear component. On the whole, as for carriers and warheads, we have a rough parity, yet, the nuclear component we have is more sophisticated. Everyone knows it, all experts do. … And I repeat that those who need it—experts, specialists, the military—are well aware of it.”

At the same time, Moscow is skeptical about the idea of nuclear testing as a show of force. Putin explained: “There is a treaty which bans such kind of tests, however, the United States has not ratified it, unfortunately. That is why to maintain parity we have withdrawn this ratification. … We are aware that the possibility of conducting such tests is being considered in the United States. This is due to the fact that, when new warheads appear, as some specialists believe, it is not enough to test them on computer which means that they should be tested for real as well. Such ideas are in the air in some U.S. circles, they exist, and we are aware of them. And we are also watching. If they conduct such tests, we will not necessarily do it, we should think whether we need it or not, however, I do not rule out that we can do the same.”

Dmitry Kiselev: “Mr. President, last year, when there were tough moments at the front in connection with Kharkov or Kherson, were you thinking of tactical nuclear weapons?”

Vladimir Putin: “What for? The decision to withdraw troops from Kherson was taken at the suggestion of the then command of the grouping. But it did not mean at all that our front was falling apart there. Nothing like that ever happened. …

“So, why do we need to use weapons of mass destruction? There has never been such a need.”

Kiselev asks again: “That is to say such idea did not even occur to you?”

Putin reiterated the Russian Federation policy on use of nuclear weapons: “No. What for? Weapons exist to be used. We have our own principles; what do they say? That we are ready to use weapons, including the ones you have just mentioned, when it is about the existence of the Russian state, about harming our sovereignty and independence. We have everything spelled out in our Strategy. We have not changed it.”