Putin flaunts thermonuclear missiles as terrifying weapons roll through Red Square

Russian Admiral Makarov ship test fires missiles in 2017

Every year on May 9, Russia commemorates the defeat of the Nazis during World War II with ‘Victory Day’. In recent years, the parade has displayed Russia’s military power, with missiles marched through the streets of Moscow.

This year, Putin’s Russia will show off the thermonuclear RS-24 Yars ballistic missile, which experts believe can can carry up to 10 warheads.

The missile was driven past rows of armed guards on a 16-wheeler vehicle during rehearsals on Saturday, May 7.

The intercontinental weapon, which weighs 49.6 tonnes, can travel up to 24,500km/hr and is capable of hitting targets up to 12,000km away.

The missiles effective range means it could strike London or New York within minutes according to experts.

Russia’s Victory Day parade will feature new thermonuclear missiles

Russia’s Victory Day parade will feature new thermonuclear missiles (Image: GETTY)

The thermonuclear RS-24 Yars ballistic missile was spotted in parade rehearsals

The thermonuclear RS-24 Yars ballistic missile was spotted in parade rehearsals (Image: EXPRESS)

Putin’s Russia then displayed several Iskander-M missile launchers during the rehearsal for the annual parade.

Brandishing guns, Russian soldiers and servicewoman waved Russian flags, performed salutes and smiled at the cameras in the rehersal.

Meanwhile eight MiG-29 fighters flew past in a ‘Z’ formation, the insignia used by Putin’s military as a symbol of its military action in Ukraine.

During speeches at the Red Square, Russia ’s 11-80 “doomsday” command plane will also do a fly-by for the first time since 2010.

READ MORE: Ukraine LIVE: Putin’s defence minister tipped as successor

Topol-M mobile launchers of intercontinental ballistic missiles seen in Moscow during Victory Day rehearsals

Topol-M mobile launchers of intercontinental ballistic missiles seen in Moscow in Victory Day drills (Image: GETTY)

Eight MiG-29 fighters also flew past in a 'Z' formation in rehearsals

Eight MiG-29 fighters also flew past in a ‘Z’ formation in rehearsals (Image: GETTY)

Since the start of the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine on February 24, Putin and officials have threatened the use of nuclear weapons if the West intervenes.

However, Dominic Sandbrook, expert in modern history, said that if Putin launched a “tactical” nuclear strike, it would mean the end of Russian civilisation.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: “One plausible scenario is that if the Ukrainians mount a counterattack in the Donbass — and especially if they threaten his grip on Crimea — Mr Putin might authorise a ‘tactical’ nuclear strike, using short-range weapons devised for use on the battlefield.

“And even somebody as drunk on his own nationalist resentments as Vladimir Putin must realise that a nuclear war would mean the end of Russian civilisation — the end of Moscow, St Petersburg and everything he and his cronies claim to revere.”

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Putin has threatened the use of nuclear missiles to the West since February 24

Putin has threatened the use of nuclear missiles to the West since February 24 (Image: GETTY)

Dominic Sandbrook said ‘Putin must realise that a nuclear war would mean the end of Russia’

Dominic Sandbrook said ‘Putin must realise that a nuclear war would mean the end of Russia’ (Image: EXPRESS)

It comes after Alexander Sladkov, a reporter for Russian state TV, insisted Putin will soon have “no way back” but to unleash nuclear weapons on Ukraine.

He urged Putin to use nuclear weapon to create “a crater the size of several regions” in Ukraine.

Mr Sladkov posted on Telegram: “There is more and more talk about nuclear weapons, and Russia has much to say about it.

“We have a solution for Ukraine. There are several, yet we are getting reminded about the last resort – nuclear weapons.

“If no one is going to hear us, and 40 countries keep helping the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, we will have no way back.”

Alexander Sladkov, insisted Putin will have

Alexander Sladkov, insisted Putin will have “no way back” but to use nuclear weapons (Image: EXPRESS)

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky said any peace deal with Russia depends on Moscow pulling troops back to pre-invasion positions.

Speaking from Kyiv to the Chatham House think tank in London, the President said there could be no question of Russia holding on to territory it has conquered since it invaded Ukraine.

He said: “To stop the war between Russia and Ukraine the step should be regaining the situation as of 23 February.

“I was elected by the people of Ukraine as president of Ukraine, not as president of a mini Ukraine of some kind. This is a very important point.”