Putin Warns Rivals Against Crossing Russia’s Red Line: ‘You’ll Regret It’

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    President Vladimir Putin warned rival nations not to cross Russia’s “red line” in their actions or face a tough response, while holding out an offer of strategic talks amid spiraling tensions with the West.

    “Those who stage any provocations that threaten key elements of our security will regret it more than they’ve regretted anything in a long time,” Putin said in his annual state-of-the-nation speech on Wednesday. “Russia’s response will be asymmetric, quick and harsh.”

    In the hours following the speech, thousands of protesters fanned out in cities across the country to demand the release of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, who has been on a hunger strike for three weeks in a Russian prison. Hundreds were detained, but the scale of the rallies appeared smaller than ones the activist’s supporters held earlier in the year and well short of their goal of bringing out half a million people.

    The ruble gained against the dollar at the end of Putin’s address, which some observers had feared might include major new confrontational foreign-policy moves. President Joe Biden and Putin are discussing a U.S. offer for a summit even after the American leader imposed a raft of new sanctions on Russia including measures targeting sovereign debt last week.

    Given parliamentary elections due in September, Putin devoted most of the speech to domestic issues, promising expanded government benefits and more spending on infrastructure to boost flagging living standards.

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    In This Story: Putin

    Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and a former officer of the KGB who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008. He was also the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.

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  • In This Story: Russia

    Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.

    Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.

    The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and since 1993 Russia been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia is a major great power, with the world’s second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. As a recognised nuclear-weapon state, the country possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.

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    Vladimir Putin is a Russian politician and a former intelligence officer who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously being in the office from 1999 until 2008. He was also Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.

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