Following the suspension of New Start, the last remaining arms limitation and control agreement with the United States, Vladimir Putin has announced plans to strengthen Russia's nuclear triad. In his greeting to the "Day of the Defender of the Fatherland," which Russia celebrated on Thursday, the president said that the first "Sarmat" launchers would be put into service this year.

Friedrich Schmidt

Political correspondent for Russia and the CIS in Moscow.

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Putin had presented the new edition of the land-based intercontinental ballistic missile, which could carry a "wide range of highly effective nuclear munitions," five years ago in his State of the Union address with a video animation in which "Sarmats" race towards Florida.

Of course, the animation had already been shown on state television in 2007 and referred to the predecessor model from Soviet times. It was made in Ukraine and called "Voyevoda" (military leader); NATO speaks of "Satan" and now of "Sarmat" as "Satan 2".

Russia announced missile test to the US

CNN reported on Wednesday, citing American officials, that Russia had tested a "Sarmat" missile around the time of President Joe Biden's visit to Kiev on Monday. Moscow had announced the test to Washington in accordance with the information requirements under "New Start" – which were only suspended after Putin's State of the Union address on Tuesday. But he had apparently failed. Otherwise, according to CNN sources, Putin would have mentioned the test in his speech on Tuesday. However, "Sarmat" had previously been successfully tested. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called for people not to believe this report and CNN reports in general.

Putin also said in his welcoming address that the "serial production" of the airborne supersonic missile "Kinschal" (dagger) will continue and the "mass delivery" of the sea-based "Zircon" supersonic missiles will begin. In his speech on Tuesday, Putin said Russia's nuclear deterrent forces were 91.3 percent equipped with "the latest systems."

Now Putin said that in the sea-based nuclear forces, the share of modern armaments technology will reach with the commissioning of the nuclear submarine cruiser "Emperor Alexandr III." 100 percent. In the coming years, three more such submarines were to follow. With regard to "the front" in the Ukraine war, Putin praised a "unity" of the Russians, which was "the pledge of our victory".