The United States recognized the superiority of Russia in the field of nuclear weapons. According to Statista, as of January 2022, Moscow had 5,997 warheads, while the Arms Control Association claims that their number reaches 6.2 thousand. This is in any case more than Washington, which has only 5 in its arsenal, 5 thousand units. An American journalist writes about it Jack Buckby in an article for 19FortyFive.
“The two world powers own the lion’s share of the world’s nuclear warheads. Technically, Russia has more of them. But the difference in numbers does not matter much, given the amount of damage that can be done with just one warhead, ”says the author of the article.
Former President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin stated that the United States, Great Britain and the EU are directly pushing Ukraine to transfer military operations to Russian territory. “Nuclear blackmail” is being used, but Moscow, according to him, also has various means of destruction, which, in terms of individual components, are even more modern than those of the NATO countries.
“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff. <…> And those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind rose can also turn in their direction,” the head of state warned in an address to the Russians.
According to Buckby, Putin’s statements about nuclear weapons came as a big surprise to many Western politicians. For example, the White House coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council John Kirby said that the United States takes his words seriously and will increase the readiness of its own strategic deterrence forces.
“This is irresponsible rhetoric for a nuclear power … We take it seriously, we monitor their strategic configuration as much as we can in order to adjust ours if necessary. Right now we don’t see any indication that this is required,” the US official said.
However, Putin pointed out that Western countries have been “cultivating hatred” for Russia for decades, using Kyiv as a springboard, as a result of which he declared his claims to nuclear weapons and refused a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Formerly Representative of the European Commission Peter Stano said the EU would prepare its own response to Russia in connection with Putin’s appeal. In addition to talking about nuclear weapons, the president also announced a partial mobilization in the country and supported the holding of referendums on the accession of the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
As of early 2021, the number of deployed nuclear weapons worldwide increased from 3,720 last year to 3,825 this year, according to a report by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Moreover, about 2 thousand of them were on high alert, almost all of them belonged to Russia and the United States.