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Russian state TV lists Moscow's 'nuclear targets' in US

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By Mark Armstrong  with Reuters
Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly in Moscow
Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly in Moscow   -   Copyright  Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik

Russian state television has broadcast a list of US military facilities that it claimed Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike.

The development comes just days after President Vladimir Putin's annual address to parliament during which he said Russia would retaliate if Washington deployed any missiles in Europe.

The targets named by the TV report included the Pentagon and the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland.

In the Sunday evening broadcast, Dmitry Kiselyov, presenter of Russia's main weekly TV news show "Vesti Nedeli", showed a map of the United States and identified several targets he claimed Moscow would want to hit in the event of a nuclear war.

The targets, which Kiselyov described as US presidential or military command centres, also included Fort Ritchie, a military training centre in Maryland closed in 1998; McClellan, a US Air Force base in California closed in 2001; and Jim Creek, a naval communications base in Washington state.

'Hypersonic' missiles

In language that observers say was unusual, Kiselyov, known for his close relationship with the Kremlin, said Russia has hypersonic missiles that could hit the targets in less than five minutes if they were launched from Russian submarines.

In his address to lawmakers, Putin said Moscow was militarily ready for a "Cuban Missile"-style crisis if the US wanted one.

Russia fears that Washington might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe as a Cold War-era arms-control treaty unravels.

READ MORE: Russia joins US in suspending Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty

Were that to happen Putin has said Russia would be forced to respond by placing hypersonic nuclear missiles on submarines near US waters.

The US says it has no immediate plans to deploy such missiles in Europe and has dismissed Putin's warnings as disingenuous propaganda. It does not currently have ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles that it could place in Europe.

However, its decision to quit the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over an alleged Russian violation, something Moscow denies, has freed it to start developing and deploying such missiles.

Putin has said Russia does not want a new arms race, but has nevertheless ratcheted up his military rhetoric.

Asked to comment on the TV report, the Kremlin said on Monday it did not interfere in state TV's editorial policy.

However in a statement on the state news agency TASS, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had made no reference to specific geographical locations in his speech to parliament.