What nuclear weapons does Russia have?

As the invasion of Ukraine began on Thursday, Russian president Vladimir Putin reminded the world of his country’s nuclear arsenal.

“Whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history,” he said during remarks from Moscow.

“No one should have any doubts that a direct attack on our country will lead to the destruction and horrible consequences for any potential aggressor,” he added, emphasising that Russia is “one of the most potent nuclear powers and also has a certain edge in a range of state-of-the-art weapons”.

Thus far, Ukraine has said it wants peace and will only fight to defend itself. The US and other powers have committed to harsh sanctions on Russia but not sending in their own troops.

Still, with such a stark warning, it’s worth asking: What is Russia’s nuclear capacity?

Although Russia has drastically reduced its nuclear weapons stores since the Cold War, it still maintains the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads in the world.

As of 2022, Russia had about 4,447 warheads, 1,588 of which are deployed on ballistic missiles and heavy bomber bases, with another roughly 977 strategic warheads and 1,912 nonstrategic warheads in reserve, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Ukraine also inherited a large number of nuclear weapons after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but the country…

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