Putin boasts about new Russian weapons, calls them defensive

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said Russia developed unique offence weapons without the intention of starting a war with anyone but to maintain “strategic balance” and “strategic stability” in the world.

“We are not going to fight against anyone. We are going to create conditions so that nobody wants to fight against us,” Putin said in an interview with the state-run Tass news agency, a part of which was released yesterday.

The three-hour long interview marked Putin’s 20 years in power and is being divided into 20 parts being released over a period of weeks and each dedicated to a separate issue. In episodes that have already been released, Russia’s leader talked about the recent government reshuffle, Ukraine, mass protests in Moscow this summer and the use of modern technology.

Russia created “offensive strike systems the world has never seen,” and which are forcing the United States (US) to try to catch up, Putin told Tass.

As an example, the president mentioned new “hypersonic offensive systems” — a weapon that can fly 27 times the speed of sound that became operational late last year.

He said in the past 20 years the share of modern equipment in the Russian military has grown from six per cent to 70 per cent. “This is a unique situation,” Putin said.

Having these systems in place allows the Kremlin to “maintain strategic stability and strategic balance” that the US tried to “upset” with their missile defence systems, the president added. “It is essential not only for us, but also for global security,” Putin concluded.

The Kremlin made military modernisation its top priority as its relations with the West soured after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014.

Putin first mentioned developing some of the new hypersonic weapons in his state of the nation address in March 2018.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. PHOTO: AP