Putin threats: How many nuclear weapons does the Russian Horn have? Daniel 7

Promo image showing several missiles

Putin threats: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have?

By The Visual Journalism Team  
BBC News

President Putin has announced a “partial mobilisation” of forces to be sent to Ukraine and warned that he will use “all means we have” to defend Russian territory, raising concerns around the world.

But as with previous warnings, analysts suggest his actions should probably be interpreted as a warning to other countries not to escalate their involvement in Ukraine, rather than signalling any desire to use nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons have existed for almost 80 years and many countries see them as a deterrent that continues to guarantee their national security.

How many nuclear weapons does Russia have?

All figures for nuclear weapons are estimates but, according to the Federation of American Scientists, Russia has 5,977 nuclear warheads – the devices that trigger a nuclear explosion – though this includes about 1,500 that are retired and set to to be dismantled. 

Of the remaining 4,500 or so, most are considered strategic nuclear weapons – ballistic missiles, or rockets, which can be targeted over long distances. These are the weapons usually associated with nuclear war.

Graphic showing estimated number of Russia's strategic nuclear warheads

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