War-mongering president Vladimir Putin cackled about the chances of a nuclear war on live television.
The Russian leader delivered a lengthy speech surrounding political philosophies on Thursday before sitting down like a chat show guest at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow.
It was not until Putin was pressed about his "special military operation" by the think tank host Fyodor Lukyanov and audience members, that the matter of Ukraine was addressed.
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Expected monologues included rants about how Ukraine is "basically Russia anyway" and how international governing bodies left him "no choice" but to take action over the border.
For all his playing down of taking nuclear action which he admitted wouldn't make sense, the tyrannical president appeared to laugh like a real-life James Bond villain.
The only thing missing? A spinning chair and a cat on his lap.
Host Fyodor Lukyanov told Putin: "We became a little nervous recalling your comments at this very event four years ago that 'we'll all end up in paradise'. We're not in a hurry, are we?"
Clearly milking the moment, Putin who earlier described the events that have unfolded since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24 as "tragic", glanced away without answering.
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Lukyanov ended the disturbing 10 seconds of silence: "You're thinking. That in itself is somehow alarming."
Before breaking into a sly cackle, Putin sickeningly smirked and said: "I did that on purpose to alarm you."
Lukyanov and the audience ended up joining the president with a nervous laugh.
When discussing nuclear action, Putin said he wouldn't be surprised if Ukraine tried to bomb a plant and pretend it was Russia to start a full-blown World War Three.
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He also cautioned that when nuclear weapons exist there is always a danger of them being used, but he called the fuss around them "primitive", adding "we’ve never said anything proactively about using nuclear weapons".
The president also seized the opportunity to instil a sense of national pride among Russians at a time when international businesses have pulled out of the country as governments impose sanctions.
Putin celebrated the nation's resilience with advances in the face of economic losses.
With plans and predictions for a "new world order", Putin compared a shift in world powers to that of tectonic plates gently moving until an "earthquake".
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He creepily warned: "First it’s all very calm, very tranquil then an earthquake happens. New centres of power are emerging and I'm not the only one to say that."
With some powers "wilting", a "process of bloom" is underway for others in Asia, Africa and South America, Putin said.
He added: "We’re not the ones who did it but that does not matter, what matters is that tectonic shifts are always happening and they will continue to happen independent of our actions.
"These processes would have happened regardless of how Russia would have acted in Ukraine."
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