Although attention is naturally focused on the role of Russia’s conventional forces in the Ukraine conflict , we should not overlook the modernization of the country’s nuclear forces. The last few years has seen Moscow make great progress in stabilizing Russia’s decaying nuclear arsenal. The Russian government considers its nuclear weapons as its best tool of defense, deterrence, and global influence– essential for protecting Russia against external aggression and for preserving its great power status.
Despite recent improvements in Russia’s conventional forces and Russian mastery of the art of non-kinetic hybrid warfare techniques, Moscow continues to invest enormous sums in reviving its nuclear capabilities, which suffered financial and other problems following the end of the Cold War. Nonetheless, Russia’s nuclear buildup will continue to face major challenges in coming years and present risks to other countries.
More from CNAS
PodcastVladimir Putin and the Future of Russian Politics, with Michael McFaul and Vladimir Kara-Murza
Ambassador (ret.) Michael McFaul and Vladimir Kara-Murza join Andrea-Kendall Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss recent anti-democratic developments in Russian politics and U.S...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Michael A. McFaul & Vladimir Kara-Murza
PodcastDefense Priorities in a New Administration, with Michèle Flournoy
Michèle Flournoy joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss how a Biden administration can work with NATO to confront transnational threats. Flournoy has been a l...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Michèle Flournoy
PodcastThe Russia-China Defense Relationship, with Mike Kofman and Alexander Gabuev
Mike Kofman and Alexander Gabuev join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to explain the Russia-China defense relationship on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts. Kofman...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Mike Kofman & Alexander Gabuev
PodcastThe U.S. Withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, with Steven Pifer and Anna Wieslander
Steven Pifer and Anna Wieslander join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts to discuss the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Open S...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Anna Wieslander