putin nuclear threat

putin nuclear threat

Vladimir Putin has heightened his nuclear rhetoric, making a bold announcement regarding Russia’s successful testing of the nuclear-powered Burevestnik strategic cruise missile, which is capable of carrying nuclear payloads. Furthermore, he suggested that Russia might consider resuming nuclear testing, a prospect not entertained for over three decades.

putin nuclear threat
image credit: cnn

During a speech at the annual Valdai Discussion Club held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin revealed that Russia was nearing completion of its nuclear-capable Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile system, each missile being capable of carrying a minimum of 10 nuclear warheads. He emphasized, “In the event of an attack on Russia, no one has any chance of survival,” while contemplating whether nuclear tests should be resumed or not.

Within his speech, Putin also offered an alternative explanation for the plane crash that claimed the life of Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in August. According to Putin, the tragedy resulted from hand grenades detonating inside the aircraft rather than a missile attack. He asserted, “Fragments of hand grenades were found in the bodies of those killed in the crash. There was no external impact on the plane – this is already an established fact.”

putin nuclear threat

Putin’s remarks came in response to suggestions from hardline political scientists and commentators within Russia advocating for a return to nuclear testing as a potent message to Western adversaries. Putin acknowledged these calls, stating, “I hear calls to start testing nuclear weapons, to return to testing.”

putin nuclear threat

Some voices in Russia have even urged Putin to detonate a nuclear bomb as a demonstration of Moscow’s waning patience concerning its support for Ukraine and the perceived reluctance of Western nations to engage in negotiations.

putin nuclear threat

Between 1945 and the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996, more than 2,000 nuclear tests were conducted, with 1,032 by the US and 715 by the Soviet Union, according to the UN. The Soviet Union’s last test was in 1990, while the US last conducted a nuclear test in 1992.

Putin went on to mention that Moscow could, in theory, reconsider its ratification of the international nuclear test ban treaty, highlighting that the US had signed but not ratified the treaty, while Russia had both signed and ratified it. However, he refrained from offering a definitive stance on whether Russia should conduct tests, pointing out the possibility of mirroring the US’s approach.

A resumption of nuclear tests by Russia, the US, or both nations would introduce profound instability at a time when tensions between the two superpowers have reached their highest point since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

In February, Putin suspended Russia’s participation in the New Start treaty, which limits the number of nuclear weapons each country can deploy.

In his Valdai speech, hosted by a Kremlin-affiliated research institute, Putin also revisited his longstanding grievances with the West, characterizing “western influence over the world as a giant Ponzi scheme.” He underscored that Russia’s nuclear doctrine remained unchanged, promising an immediate and overwhelming response to any attack on Russia with a barrage of nuclear missiles.

Putin concluded, “Everything can be changed, but I just don’t see the need for it. I think no person of sound mind and clear memory would think of using nuclear weapons against Russia.”


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