'Guaranteed defeat' Putin sends horrifying 'red button' warning after nuclear launch


It comes as the Russian President looks poised to launch an invasion of Ukraine, with a reported 150,000 troops piled up on the country’s borders. Mr Putin is said to have overseen the drills on screen by the side of his ally, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus. The missiles successfully hit all sea and land-based targets during the exercises, according to Russian media.

The Kremlin said: “All the missiles hit their targets, confirming their performance objectives.”

The drills, which included Tu-95 bombers and submarines, were reportedly ordered to begin under the instructions of Mr Putin.

One ballistic missile was launched from a site in northwest Russia.

Another was fired from a submarine in the Barents Sea, which reportedly hit targets thousands of kilometres away in the far eastern peninsula of Kamchatka.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Such test launches, of course, are impossible without the head of state. You know about the famous black suitcase and the red button.”

Footage aired by RIA showed the Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov telling Mr Putin: “The main purpose of the exercise is to train the strategic offensive forces’ actions aimed at delivering a guaranteed defeat of the enemy.”

And now, the tests have sparked fears among Western leaders.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin called the nuclear drills “very sophisticated exercise with strategic nuclear forces”.

He added that this “makes things complicated to the degree that you could have an accident or a mistake.”

This also comes after thousands of residents were forced to flee a region in eastern Ukraine after artillery fire.

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Russia policy expert Clint Ehrlich has claimed Mr Putin’s military is running a secret programme of “superweapons” that are capable of taking on the US.

Mr Ehrlich told Express.co.uk: “There are additional super weapons that they’ve been developing, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile.

“This was actually something that the US looked at during the Cold War and it was viewed to be too dangerous.

“Because the fear is that if the nuclear reactor on the bottom of the missile malfunctions, you can just have this thing that starts going around the earth over and over and over again spewing nuclear waste everywhere.

“Russia has been developing that as a potential weapon.”


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