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Putin warns the West with new nuclear weapons

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    Posted: March 01 2018 at 2:02pm

Vladimir Putin reveals video of Russia's new nuclear weapons attacking US

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Putin warns the West with new nuclear weapons

by Andrew Osborn

President Vladimir Putin unveiled an array of new nuclear weapons on Thursday, in one of his most bellicose speeches in years, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a US-built missile shield.

Putin was speaking ahead of an election on March 18 that polls indicate he should win easily. He said a nuclear attack on any of Moscow's allies would be regarded as an attack on Russia itself and draw an immediate response.

It was unclear if he had a particular Russian ally, such as Syria, in mind, but his comments looked like a warning to Washington not to use tactical battlefield nuclear weapons.

His remarks were greeted with scepticism in Washington, where officials cast doubt on whether Russia has added any new capabilities to its nuclear arsenal beyond those already known to the US military and intelligence agencies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin: His country has been busy in other nations elections.Russian President Vladimir Putin: His country has been busy in other nations' elections. AP

The Pentagon, which recently unveiled a nuclear policy revamp based partly on the bellicose posture from Moscow, said it was not surprised by Putin's presentation.

"We've been watching Russia for a long time. We're not surprised," said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.

"These weapons that are discussed have been in development a very long time," she said, without addressing any of Putin's specific claims of new capabilities.

Putin has often used militaristic rhetoric to mobilise support and buttress his claim that Russia is under siege from the West. His 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea boosted his ratings to a record high and he has cast his military intervention in Syria as a proud moment for Moscow.

On Thursday, he sought to back his rhetoric with video clips of what he said were some of the new missiles. The images were projected onto a giant screen behind him at a conference hall in central Moscow where he was addressing Russia's political elite.

A computer simulation shows Russia\s planned Avangard hypersonic vehicle bypassing missile defences en route to target. A computer simulation shows Russia\'s planned Avangard hypersonic vehicle bypassing missile defences en route to target. AP

"They have not succeeded in holding Russia back," said Putin, referring to the West, which he said had ignored Moscow in the past, but would now have to sit up and listen.

"Now they need to take account of a new reality and understand that everything I have said today is not a bluff."

Among weapons that Putin said were either in development or ready was a new intercontinental ballistic missile "with a practically unlimited range" able to attack via the North and South Poles and bypass any missile defence systems.

Putin also spoke of a small nuclear-powered engine that could be fitted to what he said were low-flying, highly manoeuvrable cruise missiles, giving them a practically unlimited range.

The new engine meant Russia was able to make a new type of weapon - nuclear missiles powered by nuclear rather than conventional fuel.

"Nothing like it in the world exists," Putin told the audience. "At some point it will probably appear (elsewhere) but by that time our guys will have devised something else."

Underwater nuclear drones

Other new super weapons he listed included underwater nuclear drones, a supersonic weapon and a laser weapon.

In one of his video clip demos, a weapon appeared to be hovering over what looked like a map of the state of Florida.

The audience, made up of Russian lawmakers and other leading figures, frequently stood up and applauded his presentation, which culminated with the Russian national anthem being played.

Earlier in the speech, he had struck a very different tone, ordering officials to halve the number of Russians living in poverty by sharply boosting social and infrastructure spending in an obvious pre-election pitch to voters.

Putin, who has dominated his country's political landscape for the last 18 years, said the technological advances meant that NATO's build-up on Russia's borders and the roll-out of a US anti-missile system would be rendered useless.

"I hope that everything that was said today will sober up any potential aggressor," said Putin.

"Unfriendly steps towards Russia such as the deployment of the (US) anti-missile system and of NATO infrastructure nearer our borders and such like, from a military point of view, will become ineffective."

Steps to contain Russia would also become unjustifiably expensive and pointless, he forecast.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement after the speech that the new weapons Putin had unveiled meant that NATO's missile defence shield, in Poland, Romania and Alaska and planned elements in South Korea and Japan was like an umbrella that was full of holes.

"I don't know why they would now buy such an 'umbrella'," Shoigu said, referring to Seoul and Tokyo.

NATO declined immediate comment.

The United States has long asserted that US missile defenses are incapable of halting a large-scale attack by a major nuclear power, like Russia or China, due in part to the limited number of US missile interceptors.

Instead, the technology is aimed at what the US views as "rogue" states, like Iran or North Korea.

"They know very well that it's not about them. Our missile defense has never been about them," White said.

She added that the US focus in addressing Russia's nuclear modernisation was strengthening America's own nuclear forces to serve as a deterrent.

Lisbeth Gronlund, senior scientist and co-director of the Global Security Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Putin's announcement of a missile with a nuclear-powered engine, even if true, would change little when it came to the Russian threat since Russia already has large numbers of ICBMs.

Douglas Barrie, a senior fellow for military aerospace at the IISS think-tank in London, said he was sceptical about some of Putin's statements.

"It's a mix of things that are still in the lab, things that are in tests, and things we knew they had. We'll have to unpick a lot of this to sort out what is really new."

Putin also voiced concerns about a new US nuclear doctrine, saying Russia's own doctrine was defensive and only envisaged the use of nuclear weapons in response to an attack.

Russia has repeatedly said it is keen to hold talks with the United States about the balance of strategic nuclear power and Putin put Washington and other nuclear powers on notice.

"We will view any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, be it of small, medium or any force, as a nuclear attack on our country," he said.

"Our response will be immediate. Nobody should have any doubts about that."

Putin said that Russia did not plan to attack anyone, however. Russia's growing military might was a guarantee of world peace, he said, designed to preserve a strategic balance of power on the planet.

Reuters



Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/world/europe/vladimir-putin-reveals-video-of-russias-new-nuclear-weapons-attacking-us-20180301-h0wvjk#ixzz58XMrH4lH 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 01 2018 at 2:06pm
sorry about the pic,of Vlad.......Chump has it over his BED lol,

couldnt,edit it ,

but sort of reminds me of 

BIG BROTHER..................


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 01 2018 at 2:22pm

Commentary: Putin’s nuclear-tipped hybrid war on the West

8 MIN READ

This month marks the fourth anniversary of Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea, an event that shocked the world and shook European faith in the post-Cold War security order. In retrospect, it has become clear that, for Putin, annexing the peninsula was not so much an end goal as a declaration of future intent, an early escalation in a broader and more ambitious effort that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently termed, with little obvious exaggeration, Russia’s “World Hybrid War” on Western democracy itself.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly and other Russian officials in Moscow. Putin used the speech to unveil new nuclear weapons. March 1, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

In an unusually bellicose speech on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin put Moscow’s remilitarization and its confrontation with the West at the heart of his pitch for re-election. His approach to this confrontation, which many now term “hybrid warfare,” mixes nuclear posturing and cutting-edge technology with covert action, and was deliberately designed so as to make it very difficult for the West to respond.

President Vladimir Putin’s Russia did not, it must be said, invent hybrid warfare. Combatants have always looked for innovative ways around the rules and conventions of conflict, and Israel, Iran and the Gulf states have employed common hybrid tactics – including cyber attacks, and the use of armed proxy groups – for years. China’s leaders, too, have found increasingly unorthodox ways to push back against the United States and its allies in their immediate neighborhood; it recently emerged that, while Western nations were distracted by North Korea’s nuclear program, China artificially expanded islands in the South China Sea in support of its territorial ambitions.

What Moscow has successfully done, however, is to refine a variety of old and new techniques to a higher level, and to employ them in a wider range of ways. As with China and Iran, Russia’s aim in developing and perfecting its hybrid warfare capabilities is to weaken and undermine the United States and its allies without sparking all-out war.

It’s a dynamic that brings with it some very real dangers, not least of accidental conflict. The American air strikes that killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Russian mercenaries in Syria last month marked the bloodiest confrontation between the two nations in decades. U.S. prosecutor Robert Mueller’s decision to charge 13 Russians and several Russian companies with interfering in the 2016 election also amounts to a significant escalation.

Exactly what prompted Russia’s interest in reheating Cold War-era animosities remains a subject of much debate among Western security analysts. Many, however, see its roots in the anti-government protests that rocked Russia in 2011 and 2012, the most serious such unrest since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Putin was widely believed to be furious that American diplomats had wooed pro-democracy and anticorruption activists, and to have concluded that Washington hoped to subvert his power.

When Russia invaded Crimea early in 2014, and when a wider conflict erupted in Russian-speaking Ukrainian regions later that year, it acted with ruthless efficiency. By using troops wearing uniforms without insignia or identification – who became known universally as “little green men” – Russia achieved surprise and dominance on the ground before authorities in Kiev, let alone Washington, really knew what was happening.

Men in unmarked uniforms, believed to be Russian troops, outside a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalnoye, Ukraine. March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

It would be hard to overstate how much this took U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration by surprise. The Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review, published only days before the Crimea annexation, barely mentioned Russia and prioritized the risk of war with China as well as ongoing action against Islamist militant groups in the Middle East and beyond.

Russia’s seizure of the strategically important Crimean peninsula, and its apparent role in shooting down a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine in July 2014, forced the United States and its European allies to urgently reconsider their beliefs about Russia’s intentions. Since then, NATO has deployed battle groups to Eastern Europe and the Baltic States (in case Moscow is tempted to try out the techniques it used in Ukraine against NATO members).

In some ways, this resembles the Cold War, but it is in many respects a much more dynamic confrontation. Russia is now far more closely intertwined with the West, through investments and business deals, and this gives it new vulnerabilities – to sanctions, for example.

Mueller’s prosecution of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort – who has a long history of business interests to the former Soviet Union – has drawn attention to just how convoluted some of these dealings have become. Russian money has been essential to the success of many Western businesses, possibly including those of President Donald Trump. But many powerful Russians are similarly beholden to the West – which is one reason so many of them have been frantically lobbying Congress to ensure their names aren’t included on upcoming sanctions lists.

NATO members concerned about Russian political interference have recruited armies of bloggers and social media activists to push back against Russian messaging, and established new monitoring bodies to track Russian disinformation efforts. But, in hindsight, they may have interpreted that threat too narrowly. Rather than simply concentrate its efforts on spreading subversion on Europe’s vulnerable periphery, Moscow appears to have concentrated on destabilizing the West’s most powerful countries. The most recent Mueller indictments allege that, by mid-2014, Russia’s preparations for its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections were well underway, and that it had already made significant progress with plans to boost its political influence in Europe. (These plans, the indictment suggests, included paying off the so-called “Habsburg group” of well-connected former European politicians.)

  Meanwhile, the ongoing fighting in Ukraine – as well as Russia’s post-2015 military intervention in Syria – has prompted a major Western reappraisal of Russia’s military capabilities. In addition to its newer hybrid warfare tactics, Russia has proved increasingly adept at combining the use of drones, electronic warfare and more conventional heavy artillery to lethal effect against Ukrainian forces using more traditional Western equipment and tactics.

The seizure of Crimea prompted NATO to deploy a significant, and permanent, ground force to the Baltic countries and Poland. New fronts continue to erupt, and Western analysts increasingly worry over Russian activity in the Western Balkans. Putin’s explicit nuclear threats this week will likely cause the United States and its European allies to reconsider their own nuclear postures. It seems far from impossible that the United States would decide to increase its nuclear footprint in Eastern Europe.

  Just over a century ago, a similar welter of international anxiety and confusion formed the base of dry tinder that World War One would set alight. Russia and its rivals must take great care not to allow history to repeat itself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Apps is Reuters global affairs columnist, writing on international affairs, globalization, conflict and other issues. He is founder and executive director of the Project for the Study of the 21st Century; PS21, a non-national, non-partisan, non-ideological think tank in London, New York and Washington. Before that, he spent 12 years as a reporter for Reuters covering defense, political risk and emerging markets. Since 2016, he has been a member of the British Army Reserve and the UK Labour Party. @pete_apps

The views expressed in this article are not those of Reuters News.

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