Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council of Russia and close ally to President Vladimir Putin, recently suggested that the country could strike the U.S. with a “unique” weapon.
Patrushev has served on the Kremlin’s Security Council since 2008 and has been a friend of Putin since the 1970s, with the two men previously working alongside each other in the KGB, the main security force in the Soviet Union. On Monday, the state-run Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper in Russia ran an interview with Patrushev, which focused extensively on the U.S. and its relationship with Russia on the world stage. At one point, he claimed that American officials had a “short-sighted and dangerous foolishness” in assuming that Russia could not meaningfully respond to a preventative strike, threatening the use of a “unique” weapon in response.
“For some reason, American politicians who are held captive by their own propaganda remain confident that in the event of a direct conflict with Russia, the United States is capable of launching a preventive missile strike, after which Russia will no longer be able to respond,” Patrushev said. “This is short-sighted stupidity, and very dangerous…Russia is patient and does not intimidate anyone with its military advantage. But it has modern unique weapons capable of destroying any enemy, including the United States, in case of a threat to its existence.”
Though the relationship between Russia and the U.S. has been fraught for decades, the former’s confrontational rhetoric has amplified in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine last year. That conflict led to the U.S., and other Western allies, providing extensive military to Ukraine and pledging to uphold their defense agreements in the event that Russia attacked a NATO ally nation. Russian officials and pundits, conversely, have repeatedly raised the possibility of strikes against the U.S. in the event that it threatened their country in some way.
It is unclear at this stage what “modern unique weapons” Patrushev might have been referring to in his comments. Newsweek reached out to global defense experts via email for comment.
His comments did, however, come shortly after Putin announced that Russia would begin storing nuclear weapons in Belarus for the first time since the 1990s. Putin claimed that the move was in response to the United Kingdom supplying Ukraine with armor-piercing bullets containing depleted uranium, which he referred to as weapons with a “nuclear component” and a “significant escalation.” While still containing some radioactivity, depleted uranium contains too little for radioactivity to have a considerable impact and is instead utilized for its higher density.
The post Putin Ally Threatens U.S. With ‘Unique’ Weapons appeared first on Newsweek.