The world faces “probably the most dangerous” decade since the end of World War Two, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned.
In a wide-ranging speech yesterday, he sought to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a move that has left his country internationally isolated.
Mr Putin also accused the West of nuclear blackmail against Russia to force allies to turn away from Moscow.
The West has denounced recent veiled nuclear threats by the Kremlin.
Earlier this week, the Nato military alliance condemned unsubstantiated claims by Russia that Ukraine might use a “dirty bomb” conventional explosives laced with radioactive material.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said alliance members “reject this allegation” and “Russia must not use it as a pretext for escalation”.
President Putin was speaking to the annual Valdai forum after a series of recent military defeats in Ukraine and growing public anger at home over a drive to mobilise some 300,000 Russians for the war effort.