Russian animation appears to put Florida in crosshairs of nuclear attack
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state of the nation speech in Moscow piled on anti-American rhetoric when he revealed simulated video of a new “immune to interception” nuclear weapon with unlimited range that showed a computer-generated strike against Florida, CNN reported.
Putin’s video display during his annual address to the country’s Federal Assembly on Thursday didn’t specify why Florida could be a target of Russian aggression against the United States. President Donald Trump hasn’t responded to Putin’s comments.
But many news organizations, including Fortune, wondered: Why Florida?
Some speculate Putin is reacting to Trump’s call to strengthen the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Trump’s favored retreat from the White House is his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach — which is fortified with three bomb shelters.
Florida is also home to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, headquarters for the U.S. Central Command and the Special Operations Command.
The video doesn’t note a specific target in Florida, but it showed missiles over a map of the state.
CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd said Putin’s braggadocio was meant to rattle Trump, whose presidency has been marred by investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“I do think Vladimir Putin was speaking to one audience,” she said. “It wasn’t anyone in Russia. It was Donald Trump.”
Putin said his weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and new hypersonic missile, reported The Daily Mail. He showed their capabilities via simulations on big screens and backed his demonstrations with tough language.
“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: All what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened. You have failed to contain Russia,” Putin said.