Putin promises 'immediate' reaction if Russia threatened
Independent TV

Ever since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine on February 24, the entire world has been on a state of alert with the prospect of the conflict growing larger.

Within days, the Russian leader put nuclear deterrence forces on high alert. Analysts have suggested the threats were to warn off Ukraine allies to not intervene.

Putin has once again issued such warnings, saying any country trying to intervene in the conflict will face a "lightning-fast" response. Speaking to Russian lawmakers in the northern city of St Petersburg on Wednesday (April 27), Putin said: "If someone from the outside tries to intervene in Ukraine and create strategic threats for Russia, our response will be lightning fast,"

"We have all the tools [to respond] that no one can boast of. And we will not be bragging about them, we will use them if necessary."

Should the conflict ever touch UK soil, Queen Elizabeth II, who has many planned speeches for major events, has one that she will read in the event that the British citizens face a nuclear war or World War III.

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The Queen's Speech

The speech was originally written in 1983, during the height of the Cold War, and was made public in 2013 under the 30-year rule by the National Archives.

Certain aspects of the speech are now outdated, such as Prince Andrew being in action for the Royal Navy, but it remains a prescient and sobering text.

Written as if The Queen was broadcasting the message at midday on Friday 4 March 1983, she starts by reflecting on the joys of Christmas before personally sharing the sadness she felt when World War II was announced.

The BBCquote the speech as saying:

I have never forgotten the sorrow and the pride I felt as my sister and I huddled around the nursery wireless set listening to my father's [George VI's] inspiring words on that fateful day in 1939 [at the start of the World War II].
Not for a single moment did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to me.
But whatever terrors lie in wait for us all, the qualities that have helped to keep our freedom intact twice already during this sad century will once more be our strength.

She adds that the terror now comes from technology rather than soldiers or airmen.

We all know that the dangers facing us today are greater by far than at any time in our long history.
The enemy is not the soldier with his rifle nor even the airman prowling the skies above our cities and towns but the deadly power of abused technology.

Her Majesty goes on to emphasise the importance of family in such troubling times before concluding:

My message to you therefore is simple. Help those who cannot help themselves, give comfort to the lonely and the homeless and let your family become the focus of hope and life to those who need it.
As we strive together to fight off the new evil, let us pray for our country and men of goodwill wherever they may be.
God Bless you all.

The speech was devised as part of the wargaming exercise which envisioned how the UK would respond to a potential nuclear attack from the Soviet Union.

We certainly hope that we never have to hear a version of this speech, but if you want to read it you can find it below:

When I spoke to you less than three months ago we were all enjoying the warmth and fellowship of a family Christmas. Our thoughts were concentrated on the strong links that bind each generation to the ones that came before and those that will follow. The horrors of war could not have seemed more remote as my family and I shared our Christmas joy with the growing family of the Commonwealth.
Now this madness of war is once more spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds.
I have never forgotten the sorrow and the pride I felt as my sister and I huddled around the nursery wireless set listening to my father's inspiring words on that fateful day in 1939. Not for a single moment did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to me.
We all know that the dangers facing us today are greater by far than at any time in our long history. The enemy is not the soldier with his rifle nor even the airman prowling the skies above our cities and towns but the deadly power of abused technology.
But whatever terrors lie in wait for us all the qualities that have helped to keep our freedom intact twice already during this sad century will once more be our strength. My husband and I share with families up and down the land the fear we feel for sons and daughters, husbands and brothers who have left our side to serve their country. My beloved son Andrew is at this moment in action with his unit and we pray continually for his safety and for the safety of all servicemen and women at home and overseas.
It is this close bond of family life that must be our greatest defence against the unknown. If families remain united and resolute, giving shelter to those living alone and unprotected, our country's will to survive cannot be broken.
My message to you therefore is simple. Help those who cannot help themselves, give comfort to the lonely and the homeless and let your family become the focus of hope and life to those who need it.
As we strive together to fight off the new evil let us pray for our country and men of goodwill wherever they may be.
God bless you all.


Updated on 28 April 2022 amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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