Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday put the country's new strategic nuclear systems on war alert, putting the West on nuclear alert over Ukraine by suspending a bilateral nuclear arms control treaty..
Putin, speaking on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine, which has led to Russia's biggest confrontation with the West since the height of the Cold War, said Russia was achieving its war aims and accused the West of trying to destroy.
Putin addressed the political and military elite of his country in an uncompromising tone:"The elites of the West do not hide their intentions. "But they also fail to understand that defeating Russia on the battlefield is impossible."
Warning the US that it is dragging the war into a global conflict, Putin said Russia would participate in the START treaty. (START) suspends the last major arms control treaty between Moscow and Washington.
The treaty limits the number of nuclear warheads that the United States and Russia, the world's largest nuclear powers, can use and expires in 2026..
Putin said: "Today I have to announce that Russia is suspending participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty."
Without citing evidence, the Russian leader said some people in Washington were thinking about resuming nuclear tests. Therefore, the Russian Ministry of Defense should be ready to test Russian nuclear weapons if necessary."
Putin said:"Of course, we will not take the lead in doing this. But if America conducts nuclear tests, we will do so too. "No one should have the dangerous illusion that the global balance of strategic weapons can be eliminated."
In his speech, Putin said that he issued a decree a week ago, according to which the new strategic land-based systems in Russia have been put on combat alert..
It is still not entirely clear which ground-based systems Russia has put on combat alert. Putin said Ukraine planned to attack a military facility deep inside Russia that housed some of the country's nuclear bombers, referring to the Eagles air base..
Russia and the United States have a large collection of nuclear weapons left over from the Cold War era and remain the world's largest nuclear powers.. These two countries together have 90% of the world's nuclear warheads.
"New Start Agreement" (New START Treaty) It limits the number of warheads installed in ICBMs, submarine ballistic missiles and heavy bombers in the US and Russia to 1,550..
Consequences of the Kremlin's warning
Putin actually warns in this speech that he could destroy the entire nuclear arms control structure – including a deadline for major powers on nuclear tests- unless the West backs down on the Ukraine issue.
China, whose top diplomat Wang Yi arrived in Moscow on Tuesday, has warned of rising nuclear tensions over the Ukraine war..
The Ukraine conflict is the biggest gamble by a Kremlin leader since at least the fall of the Soviet Union, and one that Western leaders such as US President Joe Biden, who visited Kiev on Monday, say Putin must lose..
Russian forces have been forced into major retreats three times since the start of the war, but still control a fifth of Ukraine.. Tens of thousands of people from both sides have been killed in this war.
Putin gave a speech for one hour and 45 minutes under a banner with the image of the Russian double-headed eagle, which was on both sides of a set of eight tricolor flags of this country, and promised to continue the war until he achieves his goals in Ukraine..
Putin accused the US-led NATO alliance of fueling the war by mistakenly believing it could defeat Moscow in a global confrontation..
Putin said: "They intend to turn a local conflict into a stage of a global confrontation. This is exactly our understanding of this case and we will react accordingly, because in this case we are talking about the existence of our country."
The United States says it is concerned that China may be considering supplying arms to Russia, a move that risks potentially escalating the conflict in the Ukraine war into a confrontation between Russia and China on the one hand and Ukraine and the U.S.-led NATO military alliance on the other. has the other.
A prelude to a wider confrontation
In addition to promising to continue the war and warning the West about a global confrontation, Putin also intended to justify the war, saying that the war was imposed on Russia and that he understood the pain of the families who lost loved ones in the war. he does.
The West and Ukraine reject this Russian narrative and say that NATO's eastward expansion after the end of the Cold War can no longer be a justification for what they say is an imperialist-style territorial grab that is doomed to failure..
Putin said:"The people of Ukraine have become hostages of the Kiev regime and its Western masters, who have practically occupied this country politically, militarily, and economically."
The 70-year-old Kremlin leader said Russia had never given in to Western efforts to divide its society, adding that the majority of Russians supported the war..