Russia’s recent rehearsal of a massive nuclear strike, combined with its exit from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), raises concerns about the possibility of resumed nuclear testing and a potential arms race. The ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and West Asia further amplify these concerns.
Russia’s Nuclear Strike Rehearsal and Exit from CTBT
The Kremlin recently announced that Russia conducted a rehearsal of its ability to perform a massive nuclear strike in response to an enemy attack. The drills involved practical launches of ballistic and cruise missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile fired from a test site in Russia’s far-east and another missile fired from a nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea. This move came shortly after the Russian parliament paved the way for the country’s exit from the CTBT, a global treaty that prohibits physical testing of nuclear warheads.
Russia’s Justification and Parity with the US
Russia justified its decision to withdraw from the CTBT by emphasizing the US’s position on the matter. While the US remains a signatory, it never ratified the treaty. The CTBT, agreed upon in 1996, bans any nuclear weapon test explosion or other nuclear explosion worldwide. Russia asserts that it won’t resume nuclear testing unless the US does, but experts warn that such a test by either nation could trigger a new arms race, especially considering the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and West Asia.
Concerns and Recent Developments
Recent satellite images published by CNN reveal that Russia, the US, and China have expanded their nuclear test sites. This expansion, coupled with Russia’s exit from the CTBT, raises concerns about the potential resumption of nuclear testing and the escalation of an arms race. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei stated that Russia is not prepared to restart nuclear talks with the US unless there is a change in the “deeply fundamental hostile course” of the US. Russia accuses the US of trying to strategically weaken it by arming Ukraine, while the US argues that it is supporting Ukraine’s self-defense.
Putin’s Nuclear Warning
Russian leader Vladimir Putin recently reignited concerns of nuclear war by declaring that the ‘Satan-2’ and ‘Flying Chernobyl’ missiles would soon be ready. Putin claimed that Russia has practically finished work on these modern strategic weapons, and he warned the West that Russia could resume nuclear testing for the first time in over three decades.
In conclusion, Russia’s recent nuclear strike rehearsal and exit from the CTBT, along with the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and West Asia, have raised concerns about the possibility of resumed nuclear testing and an arms race. The international community must closely monitor these developments and work towards diplomatic solutions to prevent the escalation of tensions and the threat of nuclear warfare.