Putin Vows To Bolster Russia’s Nuclear Arsenal

(Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Deven Berryhill
UPDATED 12:51 PM PT – Thursday, February 23, 2023

In an address broadcast on Russian state television, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to bolster Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

On Thursday, Russia celebrated its “Defender of the Fatherland” holiday and the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. In his speech, Putin reminded his country of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. He argued that Russia needed to modernized its nuclear capability to guarantee its sovereignty.

According to an English transcript provided by the Kremlin, Putin said that he is committed to “put our focus on strengthening the nuclear triad” of land, air and sea weapons.

“A modern, efficient army and navy are a guarantee of the country’s security and sovereignty, a guarantee of its stable development and its future,” said Putin.  “Therefore, we will continue to pay priority attention to strengthening our defense capability.”

Putin included detailed plans concerning Russia’s initial deployment of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).  The RS-28 Sarmat liquid-fueled missile, nicknamed Satan 2, will carry multiple nuclear warheads. The Sarmat had first been announced by the Russian president in 2018.

“[A] modern and efficient army and navy are a guarantee of the country’s security and sovereignty, and a guarantee of its stable development and its future,” Putin continued. “That is why, as before, we will give priority attention to strengthening our defense capability.”

In direct response to Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Ukraine, Putin had said that he would suspend Russia’s involvement in the New START treaty.  Biden called Russia’s suspension of the nuclear arms treaty a “big mistake” which he later clarified that the U.S. had no indication Moscow plans on actually using the weapons. 

“It’s a big mistake to do that. Not very responsible. And — but I don’t read into that that he’s thinking of using nuclear weapons or anything like that,” Biden told reporters.