In his annual speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented new intercontinental nuclear weapons that he called “indestructible“. Implicitly targeted, Washington refuses to be impressed.
Just days before the Russian presidential election, Vladimir Putin presented on March 1, 2018 during his annual speech a new range of nuclear missiles, described as “indestructible“ and able to strike anywhere in the world. The Russian president has been able to rely on video and synthetic images particularly martial. He warned in Moscow that, A nuclear attack on an ally will be considered an attack on Russia itself and will lead to an immediate response. “They have failed to curb Russia,“ Vladimir Putin said of Westerners. “They must now consider a new reality and understand that all I’m saying today is not bluffing.“
New intercontinental missile and submarine nuclear drones
At seventeen days of a presidential election he is sure to win, the Russian president has unveiled new types of missiles that he believes are indestructible and can strike anywhere in the world. In his speech, he presented a new nuclear-capable intercontinental missile, small nuclear warheads that can equip cruise missiles, submarine nuclear drones, a supersonic missile and finally a laser weapon.
This new arsenal, added the Russian president, makes totally useless the reinforcement of the NATO on the borders of Russia as well as the American anti-missile shield. “I hope everything I say today will calm any potential aggressor,” he said in his speech. “The unfriendly measures taken against Russia, such as the deployment of missile defense (US) or that of NATO infrastructure ever closer to our borders, become without effect from a military point of view.” Despite this martial speech, he stressed that the Russian nuclear doctrine was purely defensive and that his country would never hit first.
On the screen, missiles plunge to a territory resembling Florida
On one of the animations projected on a giant screen during his speech, also visible at 0:44 on the video at the bottom of this article, we see missiles diving into a territory resembling Florida, which the State Department in Washington did not like it, talking about a “regrettable” video that does not fit with “the behavior of a responsible international actor“.
On the merits, Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman, said that Putin’s speech, followed with “great interest“, confirmed that Russia was developing weapons in contradiction with its obligations under the Treaty on Human Rights. Intermediate-range nuclear forces. At the Pentagon, spokeswoman Dana White stressed that the intervention of the Russian president was not a surprise. “The weapons that have been mentioned have been developing for a very long time,” she said.
Does America need to worry?
How to receive such a show of force? Some American experts, such as William Courtney, research center Rand Corporation, believe that the Russian president has “exaggerated some of the capabilities“ of the new Russian armament. Russia “is very actively implementing a nuclear modernization program,” said the former Russian diplomat. “But the idea that a cruise missile flying at low altitude can fly over half the planet while being stealthy, is an exaggeration.“
An opinion shared by Hans Kristensen, of the Federation of American Scientists. “The invincible weapon is an inter-continental land-based missile with a nuclear warhead, ” the nuclear weapons expert tweeted. “It’s at an early stage of development and it’s not a weapon yet, ” he says. The mini-submersible is more “serious“, “it is a threat to coastal areas and aircraft carriers“, but “there are defenses against torpedoes“, according to William Courtney.
America can not intercept all missiles
But despite the assurances of the Pentagon, the United States is far from being able to intercept all the missiles likely to be launched against their territory, a reality that they accept since the Cold War. The US military has achieved some success by developing interceptors capable of stopping one or two missiles launched by a “rogue country“ like North Korea, but they could not protect themselves from a barrage of missiles fired by Russia. China, which would trigger the “mutually assured destruction“ of the two countries, according to the formula used during the Cold War.
For Kristensen, beyond Vladimir Putin’s “boastfulness,” these words “reveal a person who is aware of the approach of the presidential election“. “There is exaggeration, but he tried to take advantage of Russian nationalism to strengthen his electoral base and also to send a signal to the United States,“ thinks the director of the project of nuclear information of the Federation of American Scientists.