Putin spokesman refuses to rule out use of nuclear weapons

A 'doomsday plane' that can survive nuclear blasts has reportedly been spotted over the English channel.

Fears of nuclear war have been increasing since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began four weeks ago, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently saying Russia could use nuclear weapons in defined circumstances and in the case of an "existential threat for our country".

Last month Putin also ordered Russia's nuclear forces on high alert, while UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres warned last week that “the prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility”.

Now, an aircraft designed to withstand nuclear blasts has been seen flying close to the UK.

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The Boeing 747 E-4B comes from the Cold War period and has the nickname the 'Flying Pentagon'.

The craft was created in order for the president and the US defence secretary would still be able to operate during nuclear warfare.

The craft has been in reserve since the 1970sCreative Commons/John Sonderman

It was first built in the 1970s and it’s been held in reserve ever since. It’s able to hold a crew of up to 112 and is able to withstand electromagnetic pulses from nuclear blasts.

The E4-B - GRIM99 - took off from Washington and passed over the Atlantic and English Channel. It’s expected to have been heading to RAF Mildenhall, as the Express reports.

It comes after the general secretary of Nato has told Vladimir Putin to stop "nuclear sabre-rattling" and said the alliance has concerns that weapons of mass destruction could be used in Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday ahead of a Nato leaders' summit in Brussels Jens Stoltenberg said Russia could not "win a nuclear war".

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