Speaking in a nationally televised address to Russia’s political elite, the president showed both video and animation of Russian ICBMs, nuclear-powered cruise missiles, underwater drones, and other weapons that he said Russia had developed as a result of the US pulling out of the 1972 antiballistic missile treaty signed with the Soviet Union.
“You didn’t listen to our country then,” Putin said during the speech on Thursday, where he said that some of the weapons were already being tested. “Listen to us now.”
The speech came in the same month that the Pentagon released a new nuclear arms policy, which followed on from a promise by the US president, Donald Trump, to develop an arsenal “so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression”. The policy envisioned low-yield nuclear weapons on submarine-launched ballistic missiles, that could counter similar Russian weapons.