Putin: Modern weapons make up 91% of Russian nuclear triad
Russia will continue to improve combat readiness of its nuclear triad, which is ‘main guarantor’ of country’s sovereignty, says President Putin
Elena Teslova |21.12.2022
Modern weapons make up 91% of Russia’s nuclear triad, and work continues on putting into service more of the latest weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, in remarks certain to be viewed by Western capitals as a veiled warning.
Speaking at a meeting with the Russian Defense Ministry Board in Moscow, Putin said the potential of all NATO countries is being used against Russia – in a likely reference to the 10-month-old Ukraine war – and so in the face of that threat, the country should maintain its armed forces at top combat readiness.
The rearmament of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces with hypersonic Avangard systems continues, the super-heavy Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will be put into service in early January next year, and the Admiral Gorshkov class frigate will start combat duty carrying Zircon sea-based hypersonic missiles, he said.
“We will continue to maintain combat readiness and improve the combat readiness of the nuclear triad. This is the main guarantor of preserving our sovereignty and territorial integrity, strategic parity, and overall balance of power in the world,” Putin stressed.
Putin said the need to improve Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is an “urgent task,” including strategic and reconnaissance-strike ones, as well as methods of their application and to use them in all branches of the army.
“The experience of a special military operation has shown that the use of drones has become almost ubiquitous, and such an arsenal of means should be in combat squads, platoons, companies and battalions. The target should be detected as quickly as possible and the information for striking should be transmitted in real time,” he said.
Drones should be interconnected, integrated into a single intelligence network and should have secure communication channels with headquarters and commanders. Every fighter should be able to receive information transmitted from drones, he said.
The president emphasized that there are no funding restrictions when it comes to the needs of the Russian army and the government and the country will provide whatever the armed forces ask for.
Putin said Russia’s strength is that it is one of the few countries in the world that is completely self-sufficient in the military domain and that it will continue to unlock this potential but will not repeat “mistakes of the past” and militarize its economy.
Concluding his speech, he said: “We’ve always considered the Ukrainian people our brothers. What is happening now – our common tragedy — is the result of efforts of other countries to break apart the Russian world.”
For his part, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu accused the US of pumping Ukraine with weapons, training its soldiers, and waging a sanction and information war against Russia.
He claimed that Ukraine’s leadership uses prohibited methods against Russia such as nuclear blackmail, terrorist attacks, contract killings and the shelling of civilian areas with heavy weapons.
“Of particular concern is the buildup of NATO’s advanced presence near the borders of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, as well as the West’s interest in prolonging the hostilities in Ukraine as much as possible to further weaken our country,” he said.
NATO specialists work in the war zone and over 500 US and NATO satellites are working in Ukraine’s interests, with 70 of them military and the rest double-purpose, he added.
The US and its allies are spending considerable amounts of funds on information and psychological warfare against Russia and its allies, and at Washington’s command, Western media publishes thousands of fake news items daily, he said.
According to Shoygu, 27 countries have already spent $97 billion on arms supplies to Ukraine.
Russia is always open for constructive peace talks, but as there is no willingness from the other side, it will continue to achieve its set tasks, Shoygu said.
Shoygu added that Moscow takes the nuclear threat seriously and that its strategic nuclear forces have trained a response strike to an “enemy” nuclear attack.
At the same time, he said, the Defense Ministry continues international cooperation with the armed forces of 109 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
Among the priority tasks for 2023, Shoygu listed continuing the “special operation” until its goals are “fully fulfilled,” supporting peace and stability in Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh and increasing the armed forces from the current 1.15 million combat personnel to 1.5 million.