Putin brandishes his ‘unparalleled’ nuclear arsenal to threaten the West

This content was published on September 21, 2022 – 17:04

Moscow, Sep 21 (EFE) .- Russian President Vladimir Putin today raised “the weapons of the future” to warn NATO that Russia has an “unparalleled” nuclear arsenal that allows it to counter any Western threat.

“I want to remind that our country also has different offensive systems and, in some components, they are more modern than those of NATO countries,” Putin said in the television speech announcing the partial mobilization in Ukraine.

Putin, who presented to the world four years ago the new Russian hypersonic weapon capable of circumventing the US anti-missile shield and reaching any point on the globe, added that Moscow will not hesitate to use all means at its disposal to defend its country and its people.

“This is not a bluff,” stressed Putin, who at the beginning of the “special military operation in Ukraine” already put his nuclear deterrence forces on alert.

The Kremlin has always defended nuclear parity with the US through its triad -atomic submarines, intercontinental missiles and strategic aviation-, but in recent years it boasts of having a “super weapons” without analogs in the world.


The elements of what is known as the Russian Star Wars, in the image and likeness of the race that ended up exhausting the Soviet military budget at the end of the Cold War, have been progressively entering service in the Russian Army.

The Avangard system, the first intercontinental hypersonic missile, is one of those “super weapons” of Putin, who repeatedly accuses the West of launching an arms race in the world.

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According to the Kremlin, the Avangards are equipped with ballistic rockets and carry hypersonic warheads capable of maneuvering before reaching their target.

They reach the densest layers of the atmosphere, exceed 20 times the speed of sound and can reach US territory in 15 minutes.

The Sarmat heavy intercontinental missile (SS-X-30 Satan-2, according to NATO), capable of carrying 10-15 individually guided nuclear warheads, is a preventive nuclear attack weapon.

Putin maintains that the missile has a “virtually unlimited range” and that it renders the US anti-missile shield “useless”.

The Kinzhal (Dagger in Russian) are air-deployed missiles that have a range of more than 2,000 kilometers and a speed ten times greater than sound.

This high-precision hypersonic missile can carry both nuclear warheads and conventional payloads.


According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia currently has 1,625 nuclear warheads deployed, to which must be added another 2,870 in storage and 1,760 of a strategic nature, for a total of 6,255 nuclear charges.

In the 70s of the 20th century, the Soviet Union began to reduce the storage of its nuclear weapons after the disarmament treaties signed with its antagonist during the Cold War, the USA.

However, its heir, Russia, continues to retain the largest number of nuclear warheads, since the US has 1,800 deployed nuclear warheads and, in total, gathers 5,550, according to SIPRI data.

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Russia has 5,977 nuclear warheads -1,588 of them deployed- compared to 5,428 in the US.

Paradoxically, part of that arsenal was located in Ukraine, but after the disappearance of the USSR that country renounced its nuclear arsenal and handed it over to Russia in exchange for security guarantees coined in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.

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According to the US Department of Energy, Russia has enough fissile material to make 40,000 nuclear weapons.


In February 2021, Putin and US President Joe Biden extended the last nuclear disarmament treaty in force between the two powers, New START, which had been signed in 2010, for five years.

The New START, which includes a stockpile inspection system, was supposed to reduce the number of nuclear warheads by 30 percent, to 1,550 per country.

In addition, it limited to 700 the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles, those deployed on submarines and strategic bombers equipped for nuclear weapons.

It also reduced to 800 the number of launchers for intercontinental missiles, submarine launchers for ballistic missiles and strategic bombers equipped for nuclear weapons, whether they are deployed or not.

Putin maintains that the arms race in the world “is underway” since the US abandoned the anti-missile treaty in 2002 and since Washington also denounced other international documents, such as the elimination of short and medium-range nuclear missiles (INF) in 2019 or the Open Skies in 2020. EFE


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