Vladimir Putin Unveils 'Invincible' Nuclear Weapons
There's nothing quite like a gentle reminder of the looming threat of total nuclear annihilation to spice up your Friday morning. And who better for it to come from than Vladimir Putin?
Standing before his country's Federal Assembly, the president claimed that Russia had developed a new range of 'invincible' nuclear weapons, capable of reaching 'anywhere in the world' and bypassing opposing missile defence systems.
The president then played a series of mocked-up videos, showing how his weapons would look in action, before receiving a round of applause from a sea of smiling officials - and one video graphic appeared to show missiles raining down on the US state of Florida.
He then said of the West: "They need to take account of a new reality and understand... [this]... is not a bluff."
"US global defence systems are mainly against ballistic missiles," Putin explained. "And ballistic missiles are the core of our nuclear deterrent.
"This is why Russia has been developing... extremely effective methods to defeat missile defence and all our ICBMs are equipped with such systems now.
"We've repeatedly warned the US and the European NATO members, that we will take steps to neutralise threats that arise from the deployment of their missile defence system," he added. "Everyone ignored us. No one wanted to listen to us. So, listen to us now."
One system Mr Putin described was a "low-flying, difficult-to-spot cruise missile... with a practically unlimited range and an unpredictable flight path, which can bypass lines of interception and is invincible in the face of all existing and future systems of both missile defence and air defence."
In addition, he also unveiled a stealthy nuclear-powered, unmanned stealth submarine.
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According to the leader, the drone sub is capable of travelling faster than a torpedo and capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear weapons.
The US State Department was scathing of what it referred to as Mr Putin's 'cheesy' animations.
Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: "It was certainly unfortunate to have watched the video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States.
"That's something that we certainly didn't enjoy watching. We don't regard that as the behaviour of a responsible international player.
"President Putin has confirmed what the United States government has known for a long time but that Russia has denied prior to this.
"Russia has been developing destabilising weapons systems for more than a decade in direct violation of its treaty obligations."
The revelation was part of Putin's annual state of the nation speech, in which he outlined his key policies for a fourth term, ahead of an election he is expected to win.
He faces seven other challengers on 18 March, although none of them are expected to attract widespread support.
Featured Image Credit: PA