VLADIMIR Putin has bragged his war machine can now deliver an “unpreventable strike” against its enemies as he paraded his naval might.
The Russian strongman’s boast comes days after military officials announced tests of advanced new weapons, some of which come from an arsenal Putin has described as “invincible”.
Vladimir Putin and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, inspect warships during the Navy Day parade in St Petersburg[/caption]
Some 50 warships gathered for the naval parade in St Petersburg on Sunday[/caption]
Putin’s chilling warning follows an incident in the Black Sea in June when Russia said it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship HMS Defender to chase it out of Crimea waters.
Speaking at a parade of warships in the port city of Saint Petersburg, the president said: “The Russian navy today has everything it needs to guarantee the protection of our country and our national interests.
“We are capable of detecting any underwater, above-water, airborne enemy and, if required, carry out an unpreventable strike against it.”
Putin said Russia had secured its place among the world’s leading naval powers, including by developing “the latest hypersonic precision weapons still unrivalled in the world”.
The United States, China, France and other major powers have announced plans to develop their own hypersonic weapons and are expected to soon catch up.
We are capable of detecting any underwater, above-water, airborne enemy and, if required, carry out an unpreventable strike against it
Vladimir Putin, Russian president
But with the second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world and a huge cache of ballistic missiles, Russia already has more than enough military capacity to deter its enemies.
The naval parade attended by Putin saw more than 50 vessels in St. Petersburg, which included ships from the navies of Iran, Pakistan and India.
The Iranian frigate Sahand, which sailed down the Neva River in the parade, and the sea-based vessel Makran attracted attention from naval observers due to their unusually long voyages to Russia.
Parades also took place in the Russian naval bases of Severomorsk, Caspiisk, Baltiisk, Sevastopol, Vladivostok and at the Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria.
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Putin’s words follow last month’s incident when Russia said it fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it from Crimean waters.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 but Britain and most of the world recognise the Black Sea peninsula as part of Ukraine.
Britain rejected Moscow’s account and said it believed any shots were a pre-announced Russian ‘gunnery exercise’ and there were no bombs.
Putin said last month Russia could have sunk the British warship HMS Defender, that it accused of illegally entering its territorial waters, without starting World War Three and said the United States played a role in the “provocation”.
Russian ally Iran was invited to the parade, sending its frigate ‘Sahand’ of the Southern Fleet[/caption]
Vladimir Putin appears to have stern words with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu during the military parade[/caption]
Russian TV released warplane cockpit footage of the HMS Defender during the stand-off in June[/caption]