Vladimir Putin has issued a new threat to the West by announcing that a new fleet of hypersonic missiles will be added to the Russian navy's nuclear arsenal.
Speaking to commemorate Russia's Navy Day in St Petersburg, Putin boasted about Russia's military might and touted the new missiles, which can travel at speeds of 7,000mph and carry a devastating nuclear payload.
The embattled leader also praised 17th-century Russian Tsar, Peter the Great, crediting him for Russia's formidable military power at sea.
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While he did not directly mention his ongoing war with Ukraine, Putin revealed that he had signed a new navy doctrine which included the introduction of the hypersonic 'Zicron' missiles onto Russian warships.
"The delivery of these (missiles) to the Russian armed forces will start in the coming months," Putin said.
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"The Admiral Gorshkov frigate will be the first to go on combat duty with these formidable weapons on board.
"The key thing here is the capability of the Russian navy… It is able to respond with lightning speed to all who decides to infringe on our sovereignty and freedom."
Russia has conducted a number of test launches of the Zicron missiles from warships and submarines over the past year. The missile, which travels at around nine times the speed of sound, would be capable of reaching London in roughly five minutes.
Putin's announcement came as a Russian official in annexed Crimea accused Ukraine of carrying out a drone attack ahead of planned Navy Day celebrations in the Russian-occupied area.
"An unidentified object flew into the courtyard of the fleet's headquarters," Mikhail Razvozhayev, governor of Sevastopol, home to Russia's Black Sea fleet, wrote on Telegram.
"According to preliminary information, it is a drone."
He said Ukraine had sought to "spoil Navy Day for us" and confirmed that five employees of the fleet headquarters had been injured in the incident.
"All celebrations have been cancelled for security reasons," he said.
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