Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
Putin is known not to mince words during public meetings
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned that Russians will 'knock out teeth' of the country's adversaries. Speaking at a government meeting, Putin said that enemies of Russia were trying to clip its wings. every time the nation grew strong.
"Everyone wants to bite us somewhere or to bite off something from us," Putin said.
"But they -- those who are going to do it -- should know that we will knock out their teeth so that they cannot bite."
Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia, the world's largest country by landmass, is "too big for some", Putin said.
Putin didn't take names of adversaries he spoke about but stressed the need for modernisation of Russian forces.
Putin is known not to mince words during public meetings.
In 1999, he famously promised to strike at separatists even in the "outhouse" which heralded the adoption of tougher tactics by the authorities against Chechen militants.
Tensions between Moscow and the West are high over a litany of issues, including Russia's troop buildup on Ukraine's border, interference in US elections and other perceived hostile activities.
But signs of a possible détente have recently been growing, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging dialogue during a face-to-face meeting in Reykjavik on Wednesday.
(With inputs from agencies)