Putin threatened the West with nuclear weapons

Putin threatened the West with nuclear weapons

Today, Vladimir Putin threatened to use “all measures available” to maintain “the territorial integrity of our homeland, our independence, and our security.” He made the warning to both Ukraine and the West.

The tyrannical leader has previously threatened people. He threatened anybody who “interfered” with the battle with “consequences you have never experienced in history” when he began his “special military operation” in February.

This time, though, the danger comes as Putin rushes to annex seized Ukrainian districts to the Russian mainland, making them—at least in the perspective of the Kremlin—Russian turf. The nation’s doctrine from the Soviet period would allow for the use of nukes in such situation.

Kinzhal is an air-launched 'hypersonic' ballistic missile that has also been used against Ukraine with a conventional payload, but can be tipped with a nuke if Putin orders it

What choices does Vladimir Putin have in the event that he decides to use nuclear weapons? And how might he utilise them to harm his adversaries? Here, MailOnline lists some of the tools at his disposal.


If true, Russia’s claim of having 5,977 warheads in its arsenal would make it the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal.

An estimated 1,588 of them are deployed, which means they are mounted on ballistic missiles or kept at heavy bomber bases in anticipation of being loaded into aircraft.

1,912 non-strategic warheads and an additional 977 strategic warheads, the most potent sort that can crush whole cities, are held in reserve.

The remaining number is about 1,500, which have been withdrawn from duty and are awaiting dismantlement but might potentially be used again in a conflict.

In contrast, the US claims to possess 5,428 warheads. There are around 250 apiece in the UK and France.

Ballistic Missiles Over The Intercontinents

The most potent and far-reaching missiles in Russia’s arsenal, or “strategic deterrent force,” are referred to as ICBMs.

These weapons, which can go almost anywhere on the earth and are each capable of carrying dozens of Russia’s most potent warheads, are not intended for use in combat.

Instead, the utter dread they engender is intended to neutralise any danger to Russia or its leadership without the need for retaliation, thus the term “deterrent.”


In order to replace the outdated Soviet R-36, Russia has developed its biggest and most sophisticated nuclear missile to date.

Although it is believed that none of the missiles have yet been deployed, Putin observed a last test fire of the weapon just before the Ukraine crisis started.

The Kremlin claims that the missiles, with a range of 11,000 miles, will be able to strike any nation on earth from Russia’s facilities in distant Siberia.

It is believed that Sarmat is capable of carrying ten warheads in its nose, each of which may be independently directed to a separate target and detonate with a 750 kiloton yield. Hiroshima was obliterated with a bomb that weighed just 15 kilotons.

Sarmat may also be able to transport Avangard, a “hypersonic glide vehicle” that carries a nuclear warhead to its target and is housed in the missile’s nose.

The Avangard is said to be able to fly at low altitude and do several quick manoeuvres on its path to a target, making it extremely tougher to shoot down than conventional reentry vehicles.


The RS-24 Yars is Russia’s most recent intercontinental ballistic missile, with a range of up to 7,500 miles and the ability to carry up to four nuclear warheads.

It utilises soild fuel, which makes it simpler to carry and launch more quickly than the Sarmat. It may be installed on a transporter vehicle as well as fired from silos excavated into the earth.

Yars missiles might be distributed across a wide region in the event of nuclear war, making it considerably more difficult to locate and neutralise them before they can be launched.

Yars launches its warheads outside of the atmosphere, where they detonate with a 500 kiloton (500,000 tonnes of TNT) force and return to earth at a speed of 20 times the speed of sound.

missiles with a short-to-medium range

These weapons, sometimes known as “tactical nukes,” have significantly shorter ranges and much weaker warheads than their “strategic” relatives.

These missiles are designed to be deployed similarly to conventional bombs in order to destroy military objectives or kill huge numbers of troops while utilising fewer missiles or bombs than would otherwise be necessary. They are not meant to burn down whole cities or bring entire countries to their knees.

Analysts and experts worry that commanders will deploy these kind of weapons more often despite the enormous destruction and collateral effects they would still produce.

The majority of people think that Putin will use these “tactical” weapons against countries like Ukraine.

The Borei-class is Russia's attempt to answer the American Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, and is capable of carrying up to 16 Bulava missiles tipped with 10 nuclear warheads each


Putin is said to have already employed hundreds of these rockets, which serve as the backbone of Russia’s rocket forces, to hit Ukraine with conventional explosives rather than nuclear weapons.

However, according to Russian official media, Iskanders are capable of carrying thermonuclear warheads that can produce an explosion with a yield of up to 50 kilotons of TNT.

Since they are often fired from road-mobile launchers, they may be quickly and readily transported across the battlefield.

Putin can hit much of Ukraine and eastern Europe from bases in Russia and Kaliningrad, but not much beyond, thanks to the Iskander’s 300-mile range compared to ICBMs.


This missile is a cornerstone of Russia’s arsenal as well and has regularly been seen flying above while being deployed to hit targets in Ukraine.

Cruise missiles work like aircraft, utilising their engines and tiny wings to fly straight through the air before crashing down on a target. This is in contrast to a ballistic missile, which follows an arced trajectory through the air.

This has the benefit of making them difficult to identify since they fly lower than ballistic missiles.

Kalibrs are very adaptable since they may be launched in a variety of ways, including from ships, submarines, aircraft, and motor vehicles. They may even be equipped with a thermonuclear bomb, according to speculation.


The Kinzhal employs traditional ballistic missile technology, but unlike most other ballistics, it is fired from an aircraft. It is one of Russia’s latest “hypersonic” missiles.

The missiles, which are known to be in operation in the skies above Ukraine, are believed to have undergone specific modification on a Russian MiG-31 fighter.

According to Putin, the missile can travel up to 12 times the speed of sound, making it “unstoppable” by existing missile defence equipment.

While Russia presently employs Kinzhal missiles to strike Ukraine with conventional bombs, they are also capable of carrying 500 kiloton nuclear warheads.

Submarines with ballistic missiles

SSBNs, or ballistic submarines, are distinct from nuclear submarines in the following ways: The first are able to launch ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads onboard. Nuclear reactors are used to power the second. Some people are adept at both.

They are made for the utmost privacy. While satellites and adversary radar can detect ground-launched nuclear weapons and destroy them before they are deployed, ballistic submarines are considerably tougher to follow and their whereabouts are well held secrets.

A submarine is a key component of the “nuclear deterrent” because, in the case of nuclear war, it might appear anywhere, at any time, and unleash its missiles before it could be stopped.


This unique weapon, which only Russia is known to possess, is essentially an underwater drone rather than a submarine.

These vessels are nuclear-powered, making them almost quiet underwater and able to remain so for an indefinite period of time as there is no crew that needs to surface for supplies.

Poseidon is the nuclear weapon, since it carries a thermonuclear bomb in its nose, unlike other ballistic submarines that fire nuclear missiles.

Because of this, Poseidon might linger underwater for years at a time before being directed to its target, where Russia believes it would detonate with a yield of 2 megatons, which is 130 times larger than the explosion that levelled Hiroshima.

According to Putin’s propagandists, this would result in a nuclear tsunami that would flood the shore of the country it was intended to attack, leaving it a radioactive wasteland for decades to come.


The newest ballistic submarines from Russia are nuclear-powered and equipped with 16 Bulava missiles, each of which can carry up to 10 warheads with a 150 kiloton yield.

These vessels are intended to replace the whole of Moscow’s ballistic submarine fleet and are a direct competitor to the Ohio-class American submarines.

The Borei submarines are smaller and have fewer crew members than their predecessors. They are designed to remain at sea for a longer period of time and are less visible to opposing submarines and radar.

The Russian military is considering a modified design that can accommodate cruise missiles with nuclear warheads, similar to the Ohio-class.

nuclear weapons

Long-range bombers, the basis of the nuclear arsenal historically, were employed by America to drop the first nuclear bomb ever on Japan and were the original US and Soviet strategy for waging a nuclear war.

Nuclear bombers are no longer as dangerous as they once were because to missiles and submarines, but most nations still keep some on hand, and Russia is no exception.


The Tupolev Tu-160, a supersonic long-range bomber from the Soviet period, is the biggest and heaviest combat aircraft presently in use anywhere in the world. It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear bombs.

The heaviest and largest combat aircraft in use anywhere in the world, the Tu-160 can carry both conventional bombs and nuclear tipped cruise and ballistic missiles

There are now 16 of them in use by the Russian air force, but many more are being planned.

Up to six Kh-55 nuclear cruise missiles or twelve Kh-15 ballistic missiles may be carried on each aircraft. While the second may be removed from operation, it has a yield of up to 300 kilotons, compared to the first’s maximum of 450 kilotons.

Although it is seldom utilised, the bomber’s range may be increased to up to 7,600 miles by refuelling in midair.


This enormous four-engine long-range bomber, known as the “Bear,” served as the backbone of the Soviet nuclear forces for many years after its first introduction in 1956.

With a range of 5,000 miles, which is sufficient to reach important US targets, this may be increased to 19,000 miles with mid-air refuelling, a feat Russia accomplished on a test flight in 2010.

It was originally built to deliver the sort of free-falling nuclear bombs used in the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it has subsequently been modified to carry a variety of ordnance, including cruise missiles that can also carry nuclear payloads.


Nuclear artillery is an unusual threat, but one that Putin can use.

The gun fires rounds topped with very tiny nuclear warheads and is one of many unconventional nuclear weapons that were developed during and during the Cold War.

The Davy Crockett nuclear rocket launcher and the US-developed Mk-54 SADM backpack nuclear weapon are two more unconventional nuclear weapons.

2S7 Pion

The Pion is a massive howitzer and one of the biggest and most potent conventional artillery systems ever deployed.

The Pion has a firing alarm that sounds before it fires because it can concuss its crew if they are caught off guard and has a range of 23 miles, far greater than the 13 miles managed by America’s M777 gun.

The Pion can fire nuclear-tipped shells with an explosion of 1 kilotons, or roughly one-tenth the size of the Hiroshima bomb, which is a less well-known capability of the Pion.

The explosion would be devastating for soldiers on the battlefield and irradiate a small area, making it difficult to pass through even though it is relatively small compared to other nuclear weapons.


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