Russia President Vladimir Putin could dig into the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons after he declared his war move into Ukraine.
A series of explosions were heard in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv on Wednesday morning with fears that it could instigate the biggest conflict seen in Europe since World War 2.
Western leaders have issued warnings to Putin, saying that they would fight back against Russia if they felt necessary.
Speaking ahead of the invasion on Wednesday night, Putin warned Western countries not to retaliate to the attack.
“[Countries] who might be tempted to meddle in the ongoing events: whoever tries to stand in our way or create threats for our country,” he said.
“People should know Russia’s response will be immediate and lead you to consequences you have never encountered in your history.”
While the Russian President stopped short of explaining exactly what the “consequences” would be, it is feared that he was referring to the country’s 6,400 nuclear weapons – the largest supply of such artillery of any nation in the world.
One of several weapons Russia reportedly has at its disposal is the RS-28 Sarmat – a liquid-fueled, armed ballistic missile that was developed more than 10 years ago as a response to the US Global Strike.
Russia has also been developing a new nuclear torpedo, which, if deployed, is designed to create a tsunami wave up to 500 metres tall that will radioactively contaminate a wide area with cobalt.
Putin confirmed back in 2019 that Russia was in possession of several new classes of nuclear weapons, such as the hypersonic glide vehicle.
This can perform sharp manoeuvres while travelling at 20 times the speed of sound, as well as a nuclear powered cruise missile.
They have the ability to carry the nuclear weapons underwater with the use of two newly-launched submarines: The Project 09852 Belgorod and the Project 09851 Khabarovsk.
None of these weapons of mass destruction have been used in battle yet, but given Putin’s latest warning, it certainly seems that he is ready to deploy them if necessary.