Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Russian citizens that in the event of a nuclear war they would go to heaven as martyrs, while the rest would just “die.”

“Are we ready, am I ready to use the weapons at our disposal, including weapons of mass destruction, to protect our interests? I remind you what I said earlier. I said that in our concept of the use of nuclear weapons, there is no preemptive strike,” Putin said, speaking at the Valdai Forum in Sochi Thursday, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.

The Russian concept is the response to the attack, he said.

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“For those who know, I don’t need to say what it is. For those who don't, I will say it again. This means that we are ready and we will use nuclear weapons only when we are sure that someone, a potential aggressor, attacks Russia, our territory,” said Putin.

“And when we are sure, and this all happens within a few seconds, that there is an ongoing attack on Russia, only after that we strike back. This is the response, because they [missiles] fly at us, and then something will fly back, towards aggression,” he added.

“The aggressor must be aware that retaliation is inevitable, that they will be destroyed. And we, the victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven, while they will just die, because they will not even have time to repent,” Putin said.

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As reported earlier, in March 2014, a Russian propaganda talking head Dmitry Kiselyov, speaking on the air of one of the TV channels, said that Russia is the only country capable of turning the United States into “radioactive ashes.”

In October 2016, Putin criticized Kiselyov’s remark for being too aggressive. “Rattling nuclear weapons is the last thing to be done. This is harmful rhetoric, and I don't welcome it,” he said.