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Russia's President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual state of the nation address at the Gostiny Dvor conference center in central Moscow on Feb. 29, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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There will be "tragic consequences" if NATO troops are sent to Ukraine, and the West's support for Kyiv "risks a conflict using nuclear weapons," Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed during a two-hour State of the Nation address on Feb. 29.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Feb. 26 that sending Western troops to Ukraine can not be "ruled out" in the future. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and leaders of other European NATO member states have said they are not considering deploying their troops to Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons in response to Western support for Ukraine but the threats have so far failed to materialize. Russia continues to wage an all-out war in Ukraine without utilizing its nuclear arsenal.

Russia remembers "the fate of those who once sent their contingents to our country," Putin threatened. "Now the consequences for possible interveners will be much more tragic."

The West's support for Ukraine "risks a conflict using nuclear weapons, which means the destruction of all of civilization," Putin alleged.

Putin claimed that Russia's strategic nuclear forces are currently in a state of full readiness, and Russia is doing everything to "end the war" and "eradicate Nazism."

Europe's concerns that Russia may use its military force beyond Ukraine and attack a NATO country are "nonsense," Putin said.

During the same speech, he claimed that Russia needed to strengthen its military in the west of Russia due to the accession of Finland, and soon Sweden, to NATO.

Following Finland's accession to NATO in 2023, Russia replaced the Western Joint Strategic Command with the Leningrad and Moscow Military Districts. Estonia's Foreign Intelligence Service notes this was done to "bolster Russia's military posture towards Finland."

Russian media: Moscow to consider Transnistria’s ‘protection’ appeal
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would “consider with attention” the appeal of authorities from the Moscow-controlled Moldovan region of Transnistria for “protection,” the Russian state-controlled media RBC wrote on Feb. 28.
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