World War 3 is on the tips of the tongues of many, and now that Russia has fired its nuclear weapons as a show of force, Vladimir Putin is already warning the United States and NATO he believes this new Cold War 2 will cause a planned arms escalation in response to threats made over the Ukraine crisis.
Earlier this month, Ukraine Defense Minister Valeriy Heltey claimed Russia's nuclear weapons could be used against his country in a tactical strike if tensions continued to escalate.
"The Russian side has threatened on several occasions across unofficial channels that, in the case of continued resistance they are ready to use a tactical nuclear weapon against us."Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite even claimed that Russia is effectively waging war against all of Europe.
"It is the fact that Russia is in a war state against Ukraine. That means it is in a state of war against a country which would like to be closely integrated with the EU. Practically Russia is in a state of war against Europe," she said. "That means we need to help Ukraine to… defend its territory and its people and to help militarily, especially with the military materials to help Ukraine to defend itself because today Ukraine is fighting a war on behalf of all Europe."
Unfortunately, Russia's nuclear bombs are increasing in number, not decreasing as was previously hoped all but 10 years ago. On Wednesday, the Russian military successfully tested a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from the nuclear submarine the Vladimir Monomakh. The test nuclear missile flew from the White Sea near Russia's border with Finland and hit its target nearly 3,500 miles away on the Kamchatka peninsula north of Japan.
Fears of World War 3 have been rising in volume throughout 2014, especially since Vladimir Putin has regularly been referencing Russia's nuclear weapons lately.
According to Business Insider, he recently said, "Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words." Speaking on Russia's plan to modernize their nuclear arsenal, Putin claimed the U.S. and NATO should not be "hysterical" and said, "We have warned many times that we would have to take corresponding countermeasures to ensure our security."
Putin plans on taking personal charge of the government commission overseeing military industries and their 2016-2025 weapons modernization program is focused on creating a "guaranteed nuclear deterrent."
Regarding the power of these nuclear weapons, they have a range of 5,000 miles and can create an explosion 100 times larger than Hiroshima. At the same time, the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile has suffered repeated glitches that caused launch failures. Much of Russia's nuclear weapons capabilities were inherited from the former Soviet Union and haven't been updated significantly, nor does Russia have an effective missile defense shield system like the United States.