Vladimir Putin: Russians “will go to heaven” in case of nuclear war
"In such a situation, we expect to be struck by nuclear weapons, but we will not use them first", he said.
"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.
According to him, Russia may be ready to use nuclear weapons - only if a potential aggressor strikes at Russia.
"Only when we become convinced that there is an incoming attack on the territory of Russia, and that happens within seconds, only after that we would launch a retaliatory strike," he said.
"It would naturally mean a global catastrophe, but I want to emphasize that we can't be those who initiate it because we don't foresee a preventive strike. The aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable, and he will be destroyed," Putin stated. "We would be victims of aggression and would get to go to heaven as martyrs. They will simply drop dead. They won't even have time to repent."
Today, Putin speaks at the plenary session ‘The World where we live: stability and development in the 21st century' at the 15th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, held in Sochi.