It is no secret that Putin feels a world without Russia “will not be the same”. In a personal interview with the Russian leader on Amazon Prime documentary “World Order”, Mr Putin discusses the controversial topic of Russia’s possible use of nuclear weaponry. Host Vladimir Solovjev asked: “When you have the nuclear button, when millions of lives are at stake, or maybe the whole humankind is in your hands, how do you make such decisions?”

In the documentary, released in March 2018, the Russian President claims “it is my Presidential responsibility”.

He then adds: “As for the nuclear button, I think it’s an inappropriate question, to put it mildly.

“We are not the first ones who started all this.

“Let me remind you that the nuclear bomb first appeared not in Russia, but in the United States of America.

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“Secondly, we have never used nuclear weapons. It was done by the United States in Japan. Who can guarantee it won’t happen again? Besides we are not the only nuclear state.”

He also pointed out that Russia’s military doctrine does not envision a preventive nuclear strike, underlining that Moscow would only use its nuclear weapons if an early warning systems detected missiles moving towards Russia.

He added: “But I want you to know, I want our people to know that our plans to use nuclear weapons, and I hope it will never happen, but, theoretically, it is the so-called ‘launch under attack’.”

According to the Russian leader, the decision to use nuclear weapons can only be taken if their early-warning system not only registers the launch of missiles, but also gives the exact prognosis of the trajectory.

In other words, if someone decides to destroy Russia, “we will have a legitimate right to retaliate,” Vladimir Putin confirms.

Mr Putin adds: “Yes, it will be a global catastrophe, a catastrophe for the entire world.”

Earlier this year, Putin also praised Russia’s growing hypersonic arsenal as “invincible” during a state of the nation address.

The weapons included a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and a new hypersonic missile.

Speaking at an international policy forum in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi earlier this year, Mr Putin revealed: ”The aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable, and he will be destroyed.

“We would be victims of an aggression and would get to heaven as martyrs.”

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