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Putin on nuclear weapons: ‘Threat is growing’ | USA TODAY #Shorts

Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s nuclear arsenal is a “means of protection” and that the “threat [of nuclear war] is growing” during a meeting with his Human Rights Council.

RELATED: Putin to the West: ‘Let’s stop being enemies’

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the disputed annexation of Ukrainian territories Wednesday as a crucial military victory, saying it has made the Sea of Azov an inland sea for Russia. The Sea of Azov borders Ukraine and Russia, but Putin illegally annexed land on Ukraine’s side. Putin, speaking with members of his Human Rights Council, said even Peter the Great fought for access to the sea centuries ago.

And he said the recent sham referendums in the annexed territories proved residents want to be part of Russia. Still, Putin acknowledged the “special military operation” he refuses to call a war “could be a lengthy process.”

Putin dismissed concerns that he would use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, calling them a deterrent. He has said Russia will use “all available means” to protect its territory, including the annexed areas of Ukraine. “We haven’t gone mad,” he said Wednesday. “We are fully aware of what nuclear weapons are.”

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