VLADIMIR Putin told Finland in a phone call yesterday not to join Nato as his henchmen warned the Nordic nation could be destroyed in seconds by nukes — and Britain in under two minutes.
Lavrov said on the 80th day of war in Ukraine: “The collective West has announced a total hybrid war on us.
“It is difficult to forecast how long this will all last, but it is clear that the consequences will be felt by everybody without exception.
“We’ve done everything to avoid a direct clash but the challenge has been thrown to us — and we accept it.”
The warning came hours after a member of Russia’s parliament warned Putin’s 16,000mph Satan-2 hypersonic nuclear missiles could wipe out Britain in just 200 seconds.
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Aleksey Zhuravlyov, 59, deputy chairman of Russia’s defence committee, also questioned Finland’s “right to exist” if it joined Russia’s enemies. He boasted the Scandinavian nation — which has an 830-mile border with Russia and is just 250 miles from St Petersburg — could be destroyed in ten seconds.
Zhuravlyov’s wild threats came as Russian President Putin was frustrated on another day of military setbacks in Ukraine and enraged at the show of Western unity against them.
Zhuravlyov said: “If Finland wants to join this bloc, then our goal is absolutely legitimate — to question the existence of this state. This is logical.
“If the United States threatens our state, it’s good: here is Satan-2 for you, and there will be nuclear ashes from you if you think that Russia should not exist. And Finland says that it is at one with the USA. Well, get in line.
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“The Finns should be grateful to Russia for their statehood, for the fact that Finland exists as a country.”
Boris Johnson signed a security deal with Finnish president Sauli Niinisto last week.
And Zhuravlyov warned Helsinki: “We can hit with a Satan-2 from Siberia, and even reach the UK.
“And if we strike from Kaliningrad . . . the hypersonic’s reaching time is 200 seconds — so go ahead, guys.
“On the Finnish border we will have not strategic weapons, but Kinzhal-class — one that will reach Finland in 20 seconds, or even ten seconds.”
US President Joe Biden held a joint call with Finland’s leaders on Friday to support their Nato application — although Turkey has warned it may veto the move.
Russian officials responded with a firestorm of rhetoric, warning its nukes would reduce the US to “nuclear ashes” if America steps up its threat.
The chilling escalation of the war of words came as Putin’s bloodbath in Ukraine was claimed to have cost the lives of 227 children and wounded 420 — and left 27,200 Russian troops dead.
Ukrainian government sources added that 200 Russian aircraft had been downed during the tyrant’s stumbling offensive. But the brave defenders yesterday announced plans to step up their incredible resistance by calling up one million citizens.
The mass mobilisation was announced as analysts revealed Putin’s rabble army was advancing at a rate of just one 1km per day rather than the 40km expected.
And defenders in the north and east were actively driving back enemy forces in pockets of heavy fighting along the front line. Ukrainian military chiefs claimed to have regained control of the key village of Bilohorivka in the strife-torn enclave of Donetsk yesterday.
If Finland wants to join this bloc, then our goal is absolutely legitimate — to question the existence of this state. This is logical.
Aleksey Zhuravlyov, 59, deputy chairman of Russia’s defence committee
The success came after Ukrainians hammered Russian positions in Donetsk with 60 Grad rockets and 17 shells in 30 minutes.
Fighting raged on in Russian-held Kherson — where explosions were heard despite Putin announcing he would stage elections amid vote-rigging fears. Meanwhile mystery is growing over the fate of Putin’s Black Fleet chief, Admiral Igor Osipov, who has “not been seen alive” since the sinking of the warship Moskva a month ago.
There are now suspicions in Kyiv that the commander was on board when it was hit by Ukrainian Neptune missiles.
Initially Ukraine claimed that the admiral was detained amid fury from Putin over the cruiser’s sinking.
Other claims were that he had been suspended. This was never confirmed by Russian officials who this week insisted he was at his “combat post” but “not in the mood” to face the public.
Osipov, 49, was conspicuously absent from the Red Square Victory Day parade on Monday, which he would routinely be expected to attend.
He was also nowhere to be seen at events linked to Black Sea Fleet Day over the past week.
At one event on May 7, he was reported as being present only for his name to be removed later.
The governor of Sevastopol in Russia-held Crimea, Mikhail Razvozhaev, said: “Our commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Igor Vladimirovich Osipov, is now at his combat post.
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“Of course he is not in the mood for social networks and congratulations, but I’m sure he and our Black Sea people feel our support.”
Osipov’s name has appeared as if he has signed documents but sources say he has not been seen “live” since the Black Sea Fleet flagship was sunk on April 14.