VLADIMIR Putin has renewed his nuke threat against the West by appearing to ready a nuclear missile for launch.
The intercontinental ballistic missile has a 7,500 mile range and when nuclear-armed is reportedly 12 times more destructive than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
It was seen in Russian propaganda being installed in a launch-pad using a special transport and loading unit – but there is no indication of any order for an imminent launch.
In the drills, Russia reportedly practised its response to a Western nuclear attack and were aimed at targeting the UK and US.
Fears are have been raised that the 70-year-old tyrant could detonate a nuke as his forces face mounting loses in the disastrous Ukraine war.
Russia is building up to more nuclear showboating as it marks the annual Strategic Missile Forces Day on 17 December.
Missile force commander Colonel Alexei Sokolov made clear the latest exercise was aimed at sending a message to the West, with both the UK and US within range.
“The importance of this operation lies in the fact that the missile will be put on combat duty on schedule,” he said.