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  • 22 Jul, 2024

Russia is armed with nuclear weapons

Russia is armed with nuclear weapons

Putin said the Kremlin sees its arsenal as an important form of strategic deterrence to maintain the global balance of power.

Russia will increase its nuclear arsenal as the main guarantor of its national security, President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday.

The statement comes against the backdrop of rising tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine conflict, with the United States and its allies continuing to send weapons to Kiev while claiming they are not involved in the conflict.

Putin warned that Russia would do everything possible to defend itself if the nation's survival was at stake. The Kremlin last month ordered its military to conduct training on the deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons, citing the need to send a message to the West.

"We plan to further develop the nuclear triad alliance as a guarantee of strategic deterrence and maintain the balance of power in the world," Putin said on Friday at a meeting of graduates of military institutes. The "nuclear triad" refers to the combination of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles and strategic bombers, all of which can be equipped with nuclear explosives. These weapons systems ensure that potential enemies cannot destroy the country's nuclear forces in a first strike.

Putin warned this week that a strategic defeat sought by the West would mean the "end" of the Russian state, but added that he believes Russia's defeat is impossible because of the unity of its people.

But he added that such a threat would justify Russia taking "extreme" action to achieve its goals in Ukraine.

Putin has repeatedly said that any conflict involving the use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic consequences for humanity. In early June, he said Russia "does not have nuclear weapons" and expressed hope that a nuclear war between Russia and the West "will never" break out.

Russia's nuclear doctrine stipulates that such weapons can only be used if there is a "threat to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he noted at the time, but added that Moscow was considering a change.

In his speech in Hanoi on Thursday, Putin argued that Western countries appear to be working on developing low-yield weapons to lower the nuclear threshold. Asked whether Russia could include a clause on a possible first-strike nuclear attack, Putin said Russia has no need for a first strike because "our counterattack is guaranteed to destroy any aggressor."