Putin: I Was Ready to Use Nukes

In a documentary aired Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed Moscow considered activating its nuclear forces in the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last year. The documentary Homeward Bound, produced by the state-run Rossiya 1 channel, commemorates Russia’s takeover of Crimea last March after Ukraine ousted its then-president, Viktor Yanukovich, following weeks of violent protests. Yanukovich was overthrown after he refused to sign a trade agreement with the EU in an effort to strengthen ties with Moscow, sparking mass protests. Putin recounted sending armed forces into Crimea and when asked if he was prepared to put Russia’s nuclear forces on alert, he said, “We were ready to do it.” Early Monday, 40,000 Russian troops were ordered to go on full alert as part of “snap-readiness” exercises, amid rising concerns about the whereabouts of Putin, who has not been seen in public in 12 days.