Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Russia's top military administration shows all the aces of possible nuclear strike

The Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper published an article under the headline "On the Foundations of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Field of Nuclear Deterrence." The material, which was prepared by the General Staff of the Armed Forces, speaks about the conditions, under which Russia can use nuclear weapons against another state.

The General Staff noted that the document appeared at a time when Russia was trying to deter the arms race unleashed by the United States. It is this fact that prompted Russia to take an unprecedented step to publish its vision of its role in the security system.

USA's aggressive behavior

Based on the document, the United States has launched another arms race as a result of several sequential steps made by its administration:

  • pull-out from the ABM Treaty in 2002;
  • pull-out from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles in 2019;
  • pull-out from the Open Skies Treaty in 2020.

According to top Russian military officials, the purpose of such actions taken by the US administration is to deploy missile systems near Russian borders and exclude arms control on its own territory.

In addition, the United States intends to pull out from the START III Treaty. The USA may thus cast serious doubts on two other fundamental documents that contain a nuclear catastrophe in the world:

  • The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT);
  • The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

"We would like to stress here that this is an extremely dangerous path, because the world will again, like in the second half of the 20th century, balance on the brink of the global nuclear catastrophe," the document says.

The document also refers to the US military doctrine from 2018, in which Russia was directly declared an enemy. The General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces believes that all US actions are aimed at "achieving military and technical superiority in order to maintain global leadership."

Russia's defensive strategy

The document also clarifies the principles of Russia's nuclear deterrence:

  • The "nuclear policy" of the Russian Federation is defensive in nature.
  • A potential adversary should understand that it will suffer "unacceptable damage in a retaliatory strike" in the event of aggression against Russia and its allies.
  • Russia's priority task is to maintain its nuclear potential at a level sufficient to deter a potential adversary.
  • The primary military threat to Russia is associated with the buildup of air defense systems and various strike weapons near its borders.
  • Russia divides potential adversaries into two categories: the states that own nuclear arms and consider the Russian Federation an adversary; the states that provide their territories for the deployment of missile systems.
  • Russia has always complied and will continue to comply with international obligations in the field of arms control.

Red lines in nuclear deterrence

The document also outlines the "red lines", which, if crossed, will result in striking a destructive blow" on the potential enemy.

"The first condition is related to the receipt of trustworthy information about the launch of ballistic missiles targeting the territory of Russia and (or) its allies. The very fact of the launch of a ballistic missile will be detected by the missile attack warning system. At the same time, it will not be possible to determine the type of its warhead (nuclear or non-nuclear). Therefore, any attacking missile will be viewed as a nuclear-capable missile. The information about the launch of the missile will automatically be communicated to the military and political leadership of Russia, which, depending on the prevailing situation, will determine the scope of response for the nuclear forces," the article says.