By Chris Hughes
Defence and Security Editor
Vladimir Putin’s media mouthpiece Dmitry Kiselyov warned US-led aggression could lead to a nuclear war and warned NATO ‘everyone will be turned into radioactive ash’
Vladimir Putin primed Russia for war against Ukraine today, with his media mouthpiece warning NATO to back off or “everyone will be turned to ash”.
The Russian President told military chiefs and defence ministers Moscow will take “military measures” in response to tension with the West – as his troops amass close to Ukraine.
Putin was referring to a Western bid to bolster Ukraine with weapons and military training.
He said: “In the event that the clearly aggressive line of our Western colleagues continues, we will take adequate retaliatory military-technical measures, and react toughly to unfriendly steps.
“And, I want to emphasize, we have every right to do so, we have every right to take actions designed to ensure the security and sovereignty of Russia.”
Last year hundreds of British paratroopers dropped into Ukraine not far from the border with Russia.
British fighter jets have been taking part in patrols above the Baltic states, warning off Russian aerial incursions, as well as off Scotland.
Around 175,000 Russian combat forces are expected to be near Ukraine’s borders by January and pro-Russian separatists are attacking Ukraine troops daily. On the frontline in Donbas, Ukraine, Russian troops have been building up in support of pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk region.