Two days after pulling out of the last remaining nuclear proliferation treaty with the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his pledge to increase Russia’s nuclear capabilities on Thursday as fears of a more global fallout from the Russian war grow.
During his state of the nation address on Thursday, Putin pledged that the Kremlin will “focus on strengthening the nuclear triad,” referring to air, land and sea-based nuclear weapons. “We will continue mass production of air-based hypersonic Kinzhal systems and will start mass supplies of sea-based Zircon hypersonic missiles,” said Putin in his address. He also warned that for the first time this year Russia will deploy its new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Earlier this week, in competing speeches, US President Biden spoke to the world from Warsaw, pledging the United States’ ongoing support of Ukraine, and Putin spoke out against the US and other Ukrainian allies. He announced the end of Russia’s participation in the START Treaty, which set expectations for both countries to notify each other if they decided to test an ICBM, and limits the amount and type of ICBMs Russia can possess.
This week, European nations and countries around the world showed their support for Ukraine on the one year mark of Putin’s unprovoked invasion, lighting up national landmarks in blue and yellow. Earlier this week, President Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv in support of Ukraine, meeting with President Volodomyr Zelensky, who described the move as “historic. Timely. Brave.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: THE NEW YORK TIMES
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