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Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nuclear forces on high alert Sunday, reminding the world he has the power to use weapons of mass destruction, after complaining about the Westâ€™s response to his invasion of Ukraine.
Putinâ€™s threat came during yet another highly-staged meeting, broadcast to the Russian public on video, this time with his top military commanders, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the chief of the general staff of the Russian military, Valery Gerasimov.
â€œThe top officials of the leading NATO countries allow aggressive statements against our country,â€ Putin griped, a day after Germany and other European countries said they would speed weapons and other military assistance to help Ukraine battle the Russian invaders.
â€œTherefore, I order the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff to transfer the deterrence forces of the Russian army to a special mode of combat duty.â€