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Vladimir Putin, President of Russia arrives during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the Beijing National Stadium on February 4, 2022, in Beijing, China. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

MOSCOW (LifeSiteNews) — Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly gave an alarming non-answer late last month when asked about the potential for nuclear war.

Putin reportedly faked being “lost in thought” when asked whether a catastrophic nuclear engagement is imminent, according to a report by state-run Russian news site

Putin reportedly gave the reaction during an October 27 Valdai Discussion Club event in Moscow, when he was asked to expound on his 2018 comments suggesting that in the event of catastrophic nuclear war Russians would be “martyrs” who “will go to heaven” while the country’s enemies “will simply die” without having “time to repent.”

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“We’re not in a hurry to get [to heaven], are we?” asked Fyodor Lukyanov, the event’s moderator.

The Russian president reportedly responded to the question with silence, ultimately generating laughter from some of the attendees of the event.

When Putin failed to provide an answer, Lukyanov said it was “getting alarming” that the Russian president appeared to be “lost in thought.”

Putin laughed, telling Lukyanov “I intentionally got lost in thought to alarm you,” and that “the effect has been achieved.”

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The prospect of nuclear war has grown considerably after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, which conservatives argue was at least partially encouraged by the Biden administration’s policy blunders.

Russia invaded Ukraine just weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden suggested a “minor incursion” by Russia wouldn’t necessarily be met with strong U.S. pushback.

In addition, Daily Wire commentator Michael Knowles has pointed out that Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zalenskyy previously warned that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which had been sanctioned by former U.S. President Donald Trump but greenlit by Biden, was a “dangerous geopolitical weapon of the Kremlin” that “will only play into the hands of the Russian Federation.”

The Biden administration has since responded to the invasion by funneling billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine and promising decisive action in the event that Russia ups its aggression by employing tactical nuclear weapons.

Last month, Biden suggested during a fundraiser that the risk of a nuclear “Armageddon” is at its highest level in 60 years.