In late June 2022, US test of a 'hypersonic' missile failed (yet
again). According to Andrei
Martyonov, US will be able to create an air-ballistic weapon
somewhat similar to Russia's Kinzhal "relatively soon". But
"fully powered-in-flight surface launched anti-shipping and land
attack" weapons like the 3M22 Zircon are a completely different
technology. In the meantime, Russia will undoubtedly extend it's
development of this technology even further.
In other words, the west will eventually have to come to the
table. Bear in mind over 900 US politicians (including its current
President), propagandists, xenophobes, and military-industrial
oligarchs have been permanently banned from Russia.
Whoever the west sends to the table, they will come with blood on
their hands from arranging the killing of Russian and Ukrainian
They will come guilty of a determined attempt to plunge Russia
into domestic misery and chaos.
They will come their inadequacies exposed, their weapons and
operations beaten in a real war; beaten in their own unprecedented
and global-scale economic war.
They will come head down, meekly, avoiding the eyes of their
counterpart. They will come, even after treating Russia's polite
and persistent diplomatic approaches with contemptible rude and
boorish behaviour. They will come even after they have endlessly
vomited propaganda and misinformation about Russia. They will
come, even after their frame-ups and false witness against Russia,
from MH17 to the Skirpal pantomime of lies.
Yet Russia will still listen to what they have to say. But
whatever the west eventually agrees to, it will be bound up in the
most stringent and thorough checks and verifications that Russian
legal minds can invent. And it will come with painful penalties
Now, on to the most important
I will speak about the newest
systems of Russian strategic weapons that we are creating
in response to the unilateral withdrawal
of the United States of America from
the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
and the practical deployment of their missile
defence systems both in the US and beyond their
I would like to make a short
journey into the recent past.
Back in 2000, the US announced
its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
Russia was categorically against this.
We saw the Soviet-US ABM Treaty signed in 1972
as the cornerstone
of the international security system. Under this
treaty, the parties had the right to deploy
ballistic missile defence systems only in one
of its regions. Russia deployed these systems around
Moscow, and the US around its Grand Forks
land-based ICBM base.
with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the ABM Treaty not only created
an atmosphere of trust but also prevented
either party from recklessly using nuclear weapons,
which would have endangered humankind, because
the limited number of ballistic missile
defence systems made the potential aggressor
vulnerable to a response strike.
did our best to dissuade the Americans from
withdrawing from the treaty. All in vain.
The US pulled out of the treaty
in 2002. Even after that we tried to develop
constructive dialogue with the Americans. We proposed
working together in this area to ease concerns
and maintain the atmosphere of trust.
point, I thought that a compromise was possible,
but this was not to be. All our proposals,
absolutely all of them, were rejected.
And then we said that we would have
to improve our modern strike systems to protect our
security. In reply, the US said that it is not
creating a global BMD system against Russia, which is
free to do as it pleases, and that the US
will presume that our actions are not spearheaded against
The reasons behind this position are
obvious. After the collapse of the USSR,
Russia, which was known as the Soviet Union
or Soviet Russia abroad, lost 23.8 percent of its
national territory, 48.5 percent of its population, 41
of the GDP, 39.4 percent of its industrial
potential (nearly half of our potential, I would
underscore), as well as 44.6 percent of its
military capability due to the division
of the Soviet Armed Forces among the former
Soviet republics. The military equipment
of the Russian army was becoming obsolete,
and the Armed Forces were in a sorry
state. A civil war was raging in the Caucasus,
and US inspectors oversaw the operation of our
leading uranium enrichment plants.
For a certain time,
the question was not whether we would be able
to develop a strategic weapon system – some
wondered if our country would even be able to safely
store and maintain the nuclear weapons that we
inherited after the collapse of the USSR.
Russia had outstanding debts, its economy could not function
without loans from the IMF and the World Bank;
the social sphere was impossible to sustain.
our partners got the impression that it was
impossible in the foreseeable historical
perspective for our country to revive its
economy, industry, defence industry and Armed Forces
to levels supporting the necessary strategic
potential. And if that is the case, there is no
point in reckoning with Russia’s opinion, it is
necessary to further pursue ultimate unilateral
military advantage in order to dictate
the terms in every sphere
in the future.
Basically, this position,
this logic, judging from the realities of that
period, is understandable, and we ourselves are
to blame. All these years, the entire 15 years
since the withdrawal of the United States
from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, we have
consistently tried to re-engage the American side
in serious discussions, in reaching agreements
in the sphere of strategic stability.
We managed to accomplish some
of these goals. In 2010, Russia and the US
signed the New START treaty, containing measures
for the further reduction and limitation
of strategic offensive arms. However, in light
of the plans to build a global
anti-ballistic missile system, which are still being carried
out today, all agreements signed within the framework
of New START are now gradually being devaluated, because
while the number of carriers and weapons is
being reduced, one of the parties, namely, the US, is permitting constant,
uncontrolled growth of the number
of anti-ballistic missiles, improving their quality,
and creating new missile launching areas. If we do
not do something, eventually this will result
in the complete devaluation of Russia’s
nuclear potential. Meaning that all of our
missiles could simply be intercepted.
Despite our numerous protests
and pleas, the American machine has been set into
motion, the conveyer belt is moving forward. There are
new missile defence systems installed in Alaska
and California; as a result of NATO’s
expansion to the east, two new missile defence
areas were created in Western Europe: one has already
been created in Romania, while the deployment
of the system in Poland is now almost
complete. Their range will keep increasing; new launching
areas are to be created in Japan and South
Korea. The US global missile defence system also
includes five cruisers and 30 destroyers, which,
as far as we know, have been deployed
to regions in close proximity to Russia’s
borders. I am not exaggerating in the least;
and this work proceeds apace.
So, what have we done,
apart from protesting and warning? How will Russia
respond to this challenge? This is how.
all these years since the unilateral US withdrawal from
the ABM Treaty, we have been working intensively
on advanced equipment and arms, which allowed us
to make a breakthrough in developing new
models of strategic weapons.
me recall that the United States is creating
a global missile defence system primarily
for countering strategic arms that follow ballistic
trajectories. These weapons form the backbone
of our nuclear deterrence forces, just
as of other members of the nuclear
As such, Russia has
developed, and works continuously to perfect,
highly effective but modestly priced systems
to overcome missile defence. They are installed
on all of our intercontinental ballistic missile
In addition, we have embarked
on the development of the next
generation of missiles. For example,
the Defence Ministry and enterprises
of the missile and aerospace industry are
in the active phase of testing a new
missile system with a heavy intercontinental missile.
We called it Sarmat.
Sarmat will replace
the Voevoda system made in the USSR. Its
immense power was universally recognized. Our foreign
colleagues even gave it a fairly threatening name.
said, the capabilities of the Sarmat
missile are much higher. Weighing over 200 tonnes, it has
a short boost phase, which makes it more difficult
to intercept for missile defence systems.
The range of the new heavy missile,
the number and power of its combat blocs is
bigger than Voevoda’s. Sarmat will be equipped with
a broad range of powerful nuclear warheads,
including hypersonic, and the most modern means
of evading missile defence. The high degree
of protection of missile launchers
and significant energy capabilities the system
offers will make it possible to use it in any
Could you please show the video.
Voevoda’s range is 11,000 km while Sarmat
has practically no range restrictions.
As the video
clips show, it can attack targets both via the North
and South poles.
a formidable missile and, owing to its
characteristics, is untroubled by even the most
advanced missile defence systems.
But we did not stop
at that. We started to develop new types
of strategic arms that do not use ballistic
trajectories at all when moving toward a target
and, therefore, missile defence systems are useless against
them, absolutely pointless.
Allow me to elaborate on these
Russia’s advanced arms are based
on the cutting-edge, unique achievements of our
scientists, designers and engineers. One of them is
a small-scale heavy-duty nuclear energy unit that can be
installed in a missile like our latest X-101
air-launched missile or the American Tomahawk
missile – a similar type but with a range
dozens of times longer, dozens, basically
an unlimited range. It is a low-flying stealth
missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with almost
an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory
and ability to bypass interception boundaries. It is
invincible against all existing and prospective missile
defence and counter-air defence systems. I will
repeat this several times today.
In late 2017, Russia successfully
launched its latest nuclear-powered missile
at the Central training ground. During its flight,
the nuclear-powered engine reached its design capacity
and provided the necessary propulsion.
Now that the missile launch
and ground tests were successful, we can begin developing
a completely new type of weapon, a strategic
nuclear weapons system with a nuclear-powered missile.
Roll the video, please.
You can see how the missile bypasses
interceptors. As the range is unlimited,
the missile can manoeuvre for as long
As you no doubt understand, no other
country has developed anything like this. There will be
something similar one day but by that time our guys will
have come up with something even better.
Now, we all know that the design
and development of unmanned weapon systems is
another common trend in the world. As concerns
have developed unmanned submersible vehicles that can move
at great depths (I would say extreme depths)
intercontinentally, at a speed multiple times
higher than the speed of submarines,
cutting-edge torpedoes and all kinds of surface
vessels, including some of the fastest. It is
really fantastic. They are quiet, highly manoeuvrable
and have hardly any vulnerabilities
for the enemy to exploit. There is simply
nothing in the world capable
of withstanding them.
vehicles can carry either conventional or nuclear
warheads, which enables them to engage various targets,
including aircraft groups, coastal fortifications
2017, an innovative nuclear power unit for this
unmanned underwater vehicle completed a test cycle
that lasted many years. The nuclear power unit is
unique for its small size while offering
an amazing power-weight ratio. It is a hundred times smaller than
the units that power modern submarines, but is still more
powerful and can switch into combat mode, that is
to say, reach maximum capacity, 200 times faster.
The tests that were conducted enabled
us to begin developing a new type of strategic
weapon that would carry massive nuclear ordnance.
Please play the video.
By the way, we have yet
to choose names for these two new strategic weapons,
the global-range cruise missile
and the unmanned underwater vehicle. We are waiting
for suggestions from the Defence Ministry.
Countries with high
research potential and advanced technology are known
to be actively developing so-called hypersonic weapons.
The speed of sound is usually measured
in Mach numbers in honour of Austrian
scientist Ernst Mach who is known for his research
in this field. One Mach is equal
to 1,062 kilometres per hour at an altitude
of 11 kilometres. The speed of sound is
Mach 1, speeds between Mach 1 and Mach 5 is called
supersonic, and hypersonic is above Mach 5.
Of course, this kind of weapon provides
substantial advantages in an armed conflict.
Military experts believe that it would be extremely
powerful, and that its speed makes it invulnerable
to current missile and air defence systems,
since interceptor missiles are, simply put, not fast
enough. In this regard, it is quite understandable
why the leading armies of the world seek
to possess such an ideal weapon.
Friends, Russia already has such
The most important stage
in the development of modern weapons systems
was the creation of a high-precision
hypersonic aircraft missile system; as you already know
for sure, it is the only one of its kind
in the world. Its tests have been successfully
completed, and, moreover, on December 1
of last year, these systems began their trial service
at the airfields of the Southern
The unique flight characteristics
of the high-speed carrier aircraft allow
the missile to be delivered
to the point of discharge within minutes.
flying at a hypersonic speed, 10 times faster
than the speed of sound, can also manoeuvre
at all phases of its flight trajectory, which
also allows it to overcome all existing and,
I think, prospective anti-aircraft
and anti-missile defence systems, delivering nuclear
and conventional warheads in a range
of over 2,000 kilometres. We called this system Kinzhal
But this is not all I have
technological breakthrough is the development
of a strategic missile system with
fundamentally new combat equipment – a gliding
wing unit, which has also been successfully tested.
I will say
once again what we have repeatedly told our American
and European partners who are NATO members: we will
make the necessary efforts to neutralise
the threats posed by the deployment
of the US global missile defence system. We
mentioned this during talks, and even said it publicly.
in 2004, after the exercises
of the strategic nuclear forces when
the system was tested for the first time,
I said the following at a meeting with
the press (It is embarrassing to quote myself, but
it is the right thing to say here):
So, I said: “As other countries increase
the number and quality of their arms
and military potential, Russia will also need
to ensure it has new generation weapons
In this respect, I am pleased
to inform you that successfully completed experiments
during these exercises enable us to confirm that
in the near future, the Russian Armed
Forces, the Strategic Missile Forces, will receive
new hypersonic-speed, high-precision new weapons systems
that can hit targets at inter-continental distance
and can adjust their altitude and course
as they travel. This is a very significant
statement because no country in the world
as of now has such arms in their military
arsenal.” End of quote.
every word has a meaning because we are talking about
the possibility of bypassing interception
boundaries. Why did we do all this?
did we talk about it? As you can see, we made no
secret of our plans and spoke openly about them,
primarily to encourage our partners to hold
talks. Let me repeat, this was in 2004.
It is actually surprising that despite
all the problems with the economy, finances
and the defence industry, Russia has remained
a major nuclear power.
No, nobody really wanted
to talk to us about the core
of the problem, and nobody wanted
to listen to us. So listen now.
types of combat equipment, this
system is capable of intercontinental flight
at supersonic speeds in excess of Mach 20.
As I said in 2004,
in moving to its target, the missile’s
gliding cruise bloc engages in intensive
manoeuvring – both lateral (by several thousand
km) and vertical. This is what makes it absolutely
invulnerable to any air or missile defence system.
The use of new composite materials has made it
possible to enable the gliding cruise bloc
to make a long-distance guided flight practically
in conditions of plasma formation. It flies
to its target like a meteorite, like a ball
of fire. The temperature on its surface
reaches 1,600–2,000 degrees Celsius but the cruise bloc
is reliably guided.
Play the video, please.
For obvious reasons we cannot show
the outer appearance of this system here. This is
still very important. I hope everyone understands this.
But let me assure you that we have all this and it is
working well. Moreover, Russian industrial enterprises have
embarked on the development of another new
type of strategic weapon. We called it the Avangard.
We are well aware that
a number of other countries are developing
advanced weapons with new physical properties. We have every
reason to believe that we are one step ahead there
as well – at any rate, in the most
We have achieved significant progress
in laser weapons. It is not just a concept
or a plan any more. It is not even
in the early production stages. Since last year, our
troops have been armed with laser weapons.
I do not want to reveal more
details. It is not the time yet. But experts will
understand that with such weaponry, Russia’s defence capacity
Here is another short video.
.Those interested in military
equipment are welcome to suggest a name
for this new weaponry, this cutting-edge system.
Of course, we will be refining this
state-of-the-art technology. Obviously, there is far more
in development than I have mentioned today. But this
is enough for now.
I want to specifically emphasise
that the newly developed strategic arms –
in fact, new types of strategic weapons – are
not the result of something left over from
the Soviet Union. Of course, we relied on some
ideas from our ingenious predecessors. But everything
I have described today is the result
of the last several years, the product
of dozens of research organisations, design bureaus
Thousands, literally thousands of our
experts, outstanding scientists, designers, engineers,
passionate and talented workers have been working
for years, quietly, humbly, selflessly, with total
dedication. There are many young professionals among them.
They are our true heroes, along with our military personnel
who demonstrated the best qualities
of the Russian army in combat. I want
to address each of them right now and say that
there will absolutely be awards, prizes and honorary
titles but, because I have met many of you
in person many times, I know you are not after
awards. The most important thing is to reliably
ensure the security of our country and our
people. As President and on behalf
of the Russian people, I want to say thank
you very much for your hard work and its results.
Our country needs them so much.
As I have already said, all future
military products are based on remarkable advances that
can, should and will be used in high-technology
civilian sectors. I would like to stress that only
a country with the highest level of fundamental
research and education, developed research, technology,
industrial infrastructure and human resources can
successfully develop unique and complex weapons
of this kind. You can see that Russia has all these
We will expand this
potential and focus on delivering
on the ambitious goals our country has set itself
in terms of economic, social
and infrastructure development.
Effective defence will serve as a guarantee
of Russia’s long-term development.
Let me reiterate that
each of the armament systems I referred
to is uniquely important. Even more importantly, taken
together all these advances enable the Defence Ministry
and General Staff to develop a comprehensive
defence system, in which every piece of new
military equipment will be assigned a proper role.
On top of strategic weapons that are
currently on combat alert and benefit from regular
updates, Russia will have a defence capability
that would guarantee its security in the long
Of course, there are many things that we
have to do in terms of military construction,
but one thing is already clear: Russia possesses
a modern, high-technology army that is quite compact
given the size of the territory, centred
on the officer corps, who are dedicated
to their country and are ready to sacrifice
anything for its people.
Sooner or later, other armies will
also have the technology, the weapons, even
the most advanced ones. But this does not worry us, since
we already have it and will have even better armaments
in the future. What matters is that they will never
have people or officers like the Russian pilot Major
that everything that was said today would make any
potential aggressor think twice, since unfriendly steps
against Russia such as deploying missile defences
and bringing NATO infrastructure closer
to the Russian border become ineffective
in military terms and entail unjustified costs,
making them useless for those promoting these
It was our duty
to inform our partners of what I said here
today under the international commitments Russia had
subscribed to. When the time comes, foreign
and defence ministry experts will have many
opportunities to discuss all these matters with them, if
of course our partners so desire.
For my part,
I should note that we have conducted the work
to reinforce Russia's defence capability within
the current arms control agreements; we are not
violating anything. I should
specifically say that Russia's growing military strength
is not a threat to anyone; we have never had any
plans to use this potential for offensive, let
alone aggressive goals.
are not threatening anyone, not going to attack
anyone or take away anything from anyone with
the threat of weapons.
We do not
need anything. Just the opposite. I deem it
necessary to emphasise (and it is very
important) that Russia's growing military power is
a solid guarantee of global peace
as this power preserves and will preserve
strategic parity and the balance
of forces in the world, which,
as is known, have been and remain a key
factor of international security after WWII and up
to the present day.
And to those
who in the past 15 years have tried
to accelerate an arms race and seek
unilateral advantage against Russia, have introduced
restrictions and sanctions that are illegal from
the standpoint of international law aiming
to restrain our nation's development, including
in the military area, I will say this:
everything you have tried to prevent through such
a policy has already happened. No one has managed
to restrain Russia.
Now we have to be
aware of this reality and be sure that everything
I have said today is not a bluff ‒ and it is
not a bluff, believe me ‒ and to give it
a thought and dismiss
those who live in the past and are unable
to look into the future, to stop rocking
the boat we are all in and which is
called the Earth.
In this connection, I would like to note
the following. We are greatly concerned
by certain provisions of the revised nuclear posture review,
which expand the opportunities for reducing and reduce the
threshold for the use of nuclear arms. Behind closed doors,
one may say anything to calm down anyone, but we read what
is written. And what is written is that this strategy can be
put into action in response to conventional arms attacks and
even to a cyber-threat.
I should note that our military
doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons
solely in response to a nuclear attack, or an attack
weapons of mass destruction against
the country or its allies, or an act of aggression
against us with the use of conventional weapons that
threaten the very existence of the state.
This all is very clear and specific.
As such, I see it is my duty to
announce the following. Any use of nuclear weapons against
Russia or its allies, weapons of short, medium or any
range at all, will be considered as a nuclear attack on
this country. Retaliation will be immediate, with all the
There should be no doubt about this whatsoever. There
is no need to create more threats to the world. Instead, let
us sit down at the negotiating table and devise together a
new and relevant system of international security and
sustainable development for human civilisation. We have been
saying this all along. All these proposals are still valid.
Russia is ready for this.
Our policies will never be based on claims to
exceptionalism. We protect our interests and respect the
interests of other countries.
We observe international law and believe in the inviolable
central role of the UN.
These are the principles and approaches that allow us to build
strong, friendly and equal relations with the absolute
majority of countries
comprehensive strategic partnership with the People’s
Republic of China is one example. Russia and India
also enjoy a special privileged strategic relationship. Our
relations with many other countries in the world are
entering a new dynamic stage.
is widely involved in international organisations. With our
partners, we are advancing such associations and groups
as the CSTO, the Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation and BRICS. We are promoting a positive
agenda at the UN, G20 and APEC. We are interested
in normal and constructive cooperation with
the United States and the European Union. We hope
that common sense will prevail and our partners will opt
for honest and equal work together.
Even if our views clash on some issues, we still remain
partners because we must work together to respond
to the most complex challenges, ensure global
security, and build the future world, which is
becoming increasingly interconnected, with more and more
dynamic integration processes.
and its partners in the Eurasian Economic Union
seek to make it a globally competitive integration
group. The EAEU’s agenda includes building a common
market for electricity, oil, petroleum products
and gas, harmonising financial markets, and linking
our customs authorities. We will also continue to work
on a greater Eurasian partnership.
this is a turning period
for the entire world and those who are
willing and able to change, those who
are taking action and moving forward will take
the lead. Russia and its people have expressed this
will at every defining moment in our history.
In just 30 years, we have undergone changes that took
centuries in other countries.
Index of Laurie Meadows articles on Security