image_pdfimage_print Putin’s government continues to show signs that it would not hesitate to launch a nuclear war, two top analysts of Russian strategic thinking said at a recent Mitchell Institute Forum on Capitol Hill which I had the privilege to host.

Unlike the United States, nuclear weapons are “literally the number one military priority” for Russia’s government and security agencies, said speaker Mark Schneider, senior consultant at the National Institute for Public Policy.

Putin declared last year that Russia has modernized 60 percent of its strategic nuclear forces, and suggested those efforts would continue.  A massive program of nuclear rearmament includes modernized ICBMs on land and sea, and a modernized strategic bomber force, Schneider said.

It is telling that Russia is the only country in the world where ambassadors make nuclear threats, said Schneider. “So we now face something which I think is fundamentally different from anything that goes on in the West.” See more…