Russia is beefing up its nuclear arsenal. President Vladimir Putin announced plans boost its weaponry by adding more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its arsenal in 2015. After the statement by Putin on Tuesday, a Russian defense official said that NATO is provoking the former Soviet Union into a "new arms race."
Vladimir Putin issued his nuclear arsenal statement just one day after Russian military officials lambasted the United States' plan to station "tanks and heavy weapons" along the nation's border.
"More than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems will be added to the make-up of the nuclear arsenal this year," Putin said during an address at a military and arms fair.
Tensions between the United States and Russia have intensified due to the crisis in Ukraine. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, pro-Russian separatists seized a significant portion of Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
"The feeling is that our colleagues from NATO countries are pushing us into an arms race," Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov reportedly stated during the same event.
Putin also reportedly stated several times that Russia must maintain its nuclear arsenal in order to curtail what he has deemed security threats. "Anti-Western" comments have reportedly rallied support for Vladimir Putin, particularly in nations on or near the Russian border.
"Support for our strategic nuclear forces to ensure their high military capability combined with growth of the military potential of the general forces will assure that [the United States and NATO] do not gain military superiority over our country," Russia General Valery Gerasimov said. "Western countries are actively using new forms of aggression, combining military as well as non-military means. Political, economic and information methods are also being used."
Intercontinental ballistic missiles reportedly possess a minimum range of 3,400 miles. The Russian president did not offer any further details about the missiles being added to the country's nuclear arsenal.
As already noted by the Inquisitr, the Russian military modernization project reportedly includes plans to "revamp" its weapons systems to ensure that at least 70 percent of weapons and equipment utilized by the armed forces are up to new modern technology and use standards. Members of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment have requested "bigger guns" to prepared for increasing hostilities between Russia and the Ukraine. The cavalry unit is one of the last U. S. Military regiments stationed in Europe. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment has reportedly asked that 81 of its 8-wheel-drive Stryker infantry carrier vehicles be upgraded to included 30-mm automatic cannons. The automatic cannons are double the caliber of the 12.7-mm currently mounted on the Stryker carriers.