Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons against NATO members that deploy forces to Ukraine in his annual State of the Nation address on Thursday. The more than two-hour-long speech contained one of Putin’s most explicit nuclear warnings yet against the West. “All this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and the destruction of civilization. Don’t they get that?” he said.

Putin’s comments were in reference to French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting on Monday that NATO should not rule out deploying foreign troops to Ukraine. Leaders of other Western powers, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and senior U.S. officials, quickly rejected that possibility. Putin, meanwhile, dismissed the idea that Russia would spread the conflict into other European countries, calling it “nonsense.” But he added that “tragic consequences” would occur if foreign troops were to become involved in the war.

NATO members have previously warned that Russia could test the alliance’s collective defense clause (known as Article 5) within the next three to five years. If that were to occur, experts believe that Russia might seize NATO […]

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