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Putin Warns of 'Lethal' Strikes at Russian Warship Parade

Putin spoke during a parade of warships in St. Petersburg. Alexei Nikolsky / TASS

President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that Russia's navy was capable of delivering lethal strikes against underwater and aerial enemy targets during a parade of warships in the port city of St. Petersburg.

The Russian leader's boast comes days after military officials announced tests of advanced new weapons, some of which come from an arsenal Putin has described as "invincible."

"The Russian navy today has everything it needs to guarantee the protection of our country and our national interests," he said.

"We can detect underwater, surface or aerial enemies and target them if a lethal strike is necessary," Putin said according to a broadcast on state television.

The Russian leader was speaking on the sidelines of an annual parade of military vessels, flanked by naval officers in white, and also Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Putin said Russia had secured its place among the world's leading naval powers, including by developing "the latest hypersonic precision weapons still unrivalled in the world."

The United States, China, France and other major powers have announced plans to develop their own hypersonic weapons and are expected to soon catch up.

With the second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world and a huge cache of ballistic missiles, Russia already has more than enough military capacity to deter its enemies.

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