Kremlin’s great deception?
Russia’s claims to have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world are taken lightly - nobody trusts Moscow anymore.Source: Jutarnji list
The claim that Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal has been repeated for many years, and since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the highest Russian officials have directly or indirectly threatened the West with nuclear weapons.
However, as Jutarnji list writes, in recent months Moscow has presented so many untruths permanently damaging the long-term credibility of the Russian rulers.
On the other hand, Western countries are increasingly testing Russian red lines by sending increasingly advanced and sophisticated military equipment to Ukraine, for which Moscow claimed during the first days of the war that its delivery would be interpreted as a declaration of war by Western powers. That didn't happen either.
So now the question arises - does Russia even have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world or is it just another Kremlin lie?
According to an analysis by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), one of the world's leading institutions that monitors trends in nuclear weapons, the Russian Federation has a total of 5,977 warheads of various types and sizes in its inventory, but that number also includes older, "retired" warheads. heads that are actually waiting to be dismantled and repurposed, although with a lot of effort they could probably be made usable again.
The Russian armed forces have a stockpile of 4,477 usable warheads. Most of these weapons are in storage and are considered reserves - about 2,889, which are in storage and cannot be used without complex preparations.
Only 1,588 warheads are operational, so they are already in intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines, or on mobile launch pads, or in the form of bombs or missiles stored at air bases, which could be used to arm Russian bombers or fighter jets.
This is primarily about "strategic" warheads, that is, weapons that are intended exclusively for mass destruction, and not for limited tactical use in the field. Most of the tactical weapons - about 1,900 pieces - are reduced to bombs, short- and medium-range cruise missiles, torpedoes, and air-to-surface ballistic missiles. All these weapons are in warehouses and are part of the said reserve.
Therefore, when the Kremlin claims that Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, that claim is only partially true, Jutarnji list continues, adding that when only operational warheads are counted, those that are ready for use in the short term and realistically could be used in the event of a sudden outbreak of all-out nuclear war, the United States actually has a larger arsenal at its disposal.
The US has a total of 1,744 operational warheads, an additional 1,964 in reserve, and a total inventory of 5,428 warheads.