A recent history of Putin's warnings against the UK

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address to mark the 31st anniversary of the founding of the National Energy Giant Gazprom at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. (Alexander Kazakov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Putin has referenced the UK several times in recent years, with reports of threats against the west. (AP)

Russia has reportedly threatened to unleash its "entire arsenal" on London if it loses the war in Ukraine, also threatening to launch nuclear weapons at the US and Germany.

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who is a close ally of Vladimir Putin, reportedly warned of "total war" if Russia was forced to return to its 1991 borders established at the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He is said to have written on Telegram that attempts to return Russia to the "borders of 1991" would "only lead to one thing", adding: "Towards a global war with Western countries using the entire strategic arsenal of our state. In Kyiv, Berlin, London, Washington."

The latest threat is not the first time the UK has been referred to by Putin, or Russia, with several reports of threats against the west in recent years. The escalating situation involving Russia - which most recently saw the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny - saw the UK government last month warn of a more than one in four chance that Russia will attack another British ally within the next two years.

A National Risk Register, which analyses the biggest threats facing the UK over the next two years, ranked the likelihood of a Russian attack on a non-Nato ally, with which Britain has a mutual security pact, at more than 25%.

Yahoo News UK looks at some of the key times Russia has referenced the UK or suggested an attack on the west in recent years.

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February 2024

In a lengthy interview with Tucker Carlson, Putin blamed Boris Johnson for the war in Ukraine, accusing him of encouraging ongoing fighting.

The Russian president said: "It's very sad to me... we could have stopped these hostilities with war a year and a half ago already." During the interview, he said: "Prime Minister Johnson came to talk us out of it and we missed that chance. Well, you missed it".

He added: "The fact that they obey the demand or persuasion of Mr Johnson, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, seems ridiculous. Where is Mr Johnson now? And the war continues."

Ukraine Army recruits take part in a training session called
Putin has hit out at the West for helping Ukraine. (Getty)

September 2023

Putin delivered a long rant over Western help to Ukraine, threatening Rishi Sunak as he accused the UK of being behind a failed plot on a Russian atomic facility.

Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, he said his country’s forces had apprehended Ukrainian 'saboteurs' planning to damage power lines at the facility, adding that they were instructed by British secret services.

He said: "Do [the British] understand what they are playing with, or not? Are they provoking our response at Ukrainian nuclear sites, nuclear stations, or what? Does the British leadership, or the Prime Minister [of the United Kingdom. Rishi Sunak] know what their special services are engaged with in Ukraine?"

May 2023

The UK was threatened with a "military response" by Russia after pledging to send long-range missiles to Ukraine.

Following the announcement by defence secretary Ben Wallace that Storm Shadow missiles would be provided to Ukraine's military, Moscow said the move would require an "adequate response from our military".

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a joint press conference with Prime Minister of Estonia and Secretary General of NATO at the Tapa Army Base on March 1, 2022 in Tallinn, Estonia. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on a visit to Poland on March 1, that the West would keep up sanctions pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime indefinitely after it invaded Ukraine (Photo by Leon Neal / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson said Putin threatened him in a phone call weeks before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Getty)

January 2023

Boris Johnson said Putin threatened him with a missile strike in an "extraordinary" phone call in February 2022, just weeks before the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, saying the Russian president told him it "would only take a minute".

Johnson told the BBC that he warned Putin that invading Ukraine would lead to Western sanctions and more Nato troops on Russia's borders, and also tried to deter him by saying Ukraine would not join Nato "for the foreseeable future".

The former PM said: "He threatened me at one point, and he said, 'Boris, I don't want to hurt you but, with a missile, it would only take a minute' or something like that. Jolly. But I think from the very relaxed tone that he was taking, the sort of air of detachment that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate."

The Kremlin denied the comments, calling them either a "deliberate falsehood" or a misunderstanding by Johnson.