Russia's Putin makes 'nuclear war threat' to West, as Ukraine submits NATO membership bid
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US had created a "precedent" by using nuclear weapons against Japan at the end of World War Two, in a speech filled with hostility towards the West delivered from the Kremlin on Friday.
Fears of nuclear war have grown since Putin said last week he was "not bluffing" when he said Russia was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend its territory.
Announcing on Friday that Russia was annexing four Ukrainian regions, Putin made further shadowy threats of nuclear war saying Russia would use "all the power and all the means" at its disposal to defend its new lands from attacks by the West or Ukraine.
This comes as Ukraine announced that it is submitting its application for NATO membership on Friday.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is also set to brief the media on Friday at approximately 18:00 (CET), which will be live streamed on the NATO website.
📹#NATO Secretary General @jensstoltenberg will brief the media today, 30 September, at approximately 18:00 (CET). The press point will be livestreamed on the NATO website.— Oana Lungescu (@NATOpress) September 30, 2022
ℹ️: https://t.co/tlyCVnqMNB pic.twitter.com/958Y8g6PkB
During the past week Russian forces have launched new strikes on Ukrainian cities, and earlier this month Putin ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two, warning the West that if it continued what he called its "nuclear blackmail" - Moscow would respond with the might of all its vast arsenal.
Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, which has resulted in western nations placing sanctions on the European country.
The conflict has killed thousands of people, destroyed cities and forced millions to flee their homes.
(Reuters contributed to this report)