In a year-end speech to his top military officers on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin threw down the gauntlet, declaring that the Russian military, emboldened by recent adventures in Syria and Ukraine, is ready to defeat any country that dares challenge it. “We can say with certainty: we are stronger now than any potential aggressor,” he proclaimed.

“Anyone.” He also made a pitch for bigger and badder nuclear weapons. Putin said Moscow must “strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems.” Putin’s remarks came just ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s own nuclear musings, on Twitter, of course. READ MORE