He noted that Russian Federation would only launch a nuclear strike if its early warning systems spot missiles heading toward its territory, adding that "the aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable".
"When we see a coming strike on the territory of Russian Federation, we will retaliate". He acknowledged it will mean a global catastrophe, but emphasized that "we can't be those who initiated it".
"The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that it will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven".
Putin a year ago unveiled "invincible" new weapons that would render Western missile defence systems obsolete. But, Putin declared, Russian Federation will never be the first to use nukes, saying, "We have no concept of preemptive strike" (though RT explains why there may be a loophole to that).
He added that the development of the new weapons was in response to the U.S. withdrawing from a Cold War-era treaty that banned missile defences and Washington's moves to develop a missile defence system.