Early on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin talked up improvements made to his nation’s nuclear arsenal, with an eye toward countering growing US missile defense systems. This included what he called “invincible” weapons that are definitely “not a bluff.”
This comes amid hype in the US both of American missile defense systems, and President Trump’s recent promises to massively increase the size of the US nuclear arsenal, ensuring that the US has the biggest and most destructive arsenal.
The Pentagon, however, was very dismissive of the announcement, saying they were “not surprised” by the announcement, and that they remain fully prepared to counter the Russians.
Pentagon officials also said that Russia’s new cruise missiles were believed to still be in testing, not ready for deployment, and that recent test launches by Russia had ended in failure, crashing in the Russian Arctic.
State Department officials were more eager to hype the Russian “threat,” in particular railing against the “irresponsible” animated video playing during Putin’s speech, which depicted a nuclear strike in Florida with the new missiles.
Tit-for-tat nuclear grandstanding between the US and Russia is certainly concerning, though Russia’s comments seem focused on emphasizing that their nuclear deterrent remains viable, despite US efforts to undercut it with costly missile defense systems along the Russian frontier in Eastern Europe.