Putin Boasts of ‘Invincible’ New Nuclear Weapons

President Vladimir Putin presents new weaponry during his address at the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
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Putin Boasts of ‘Invincible’ New Nuclear Weapons

A provocative speech by Russia’s president includes video depicting a strike against the United States—but what matters most is Europe’s response.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on March 1 that his country’s military has developed delivery systems for nuclear weapons that can evade all existing missile defenses. As he discussed the new weaponry, a giant screen showed a simulation of nuclear missiles raining down on the American state of Florida.

The remarks and video were part of Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address. The speech was attended by hundreds of top Russian officials and televised across the nation.

In one section of the two-hour address, Putin said:

[T]o 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 … 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.

Among the weapons he said Russia has recently tested were a nuclear-powered cruise missile, an underwater drone capable of carrying nuclear weapons, and a “hypersonic glide vehicle” that flies at 20 times the speed of sound.

He said one weapons system includes a “low-flying stealth missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with almost an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory and ability to bypass interception boundaries.” He said the missile is “invincible against all existing and prospective missile defense and counter-air defense systems.”

“[E]verything I have said today is not a bluff,” Putin said.

A segment of the provocative video can be seen here:

Putin claimed that Russia was forced to upgrade its nuclear arsenal after the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (abm) treaty in 2002. He said Russia warned the world at that time that it would respond by upgrading its arsenal, but that other nations did not want to negotiate the issue with the Kremlin.

“[N]obody wanted to listen to us,” he said. “So listen now.”

In response, the audience broke into thunderous applause.

Analysts agree that the speech was largely intended to warn the Western world not to disrespect Russia.

But with Russia’s presidential election coming up on March 18, it is clear that it was also intended as a message to the people of Russia: Vote Putin, and you will help hasten Russia’s return as a superpower. There is no question that Putin will win another term in the farcical election, but he knows that such reminders and emphasis on Russian military strength will make his victory more resounding.

Putin’s claim that Russia’s focus on nuclear upgrades came in response to America’s withdrawal from the abm is specious. Reality shows that whether America had left the treaty or not, Putin’s goal since the beginning of his rule has been to make the world fear Russia once again. In this quest, he has won the overwhelming support of the Russian people.

Putin once famously called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century.” He has labored to rebuild the empire’s former glory. This goal was evident in 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia and took control of two of its regions. It was evident again in 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

Putin’s upgrades of Russia’s nuclear arsenals are motivated by that same goal of boosting Moscow’s power, challenging the West, and posturing Russia as a power to be feared.

Watch for Europe’s Response

Putin’s aggression was channeled mostly toward the U.S. during his March 1 speech. But the more important region to watch is Europe. Whether or not the weapons Putin discussed are as near to deployment as he implied, many Europeans—particularly in the eastern part of the Continent—take Moscow’s increasingly aggressive military posturing seriously.

In 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Crimea, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained the significance of that move in terms of Bible prophecy:

We have been prophesying for around 70 years that Eastern Europe would become a vital part of a new European superpower—a resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. This prophecy is directly related to the Crimean crisis! The fear you see in Europe because of events in Crimea is going to cause 10 leaders in Europe to unite in a sudden and dramatic way—and in precise accordance with the Bible’s description of that European empire! … Europe’s new fear of Russia is going to play a major role in hastening the fulfillment of that prophecy!

The Europeans have not forgotten what Russia accomplished in Georgia and Ukraine. They see Russia’s increasingly belligerent nuclear posturing. The fear that is now intensifying among many Europeans is prompting them to seek to unify Europe, politically and militarily. Within a unified European bloc, they feel they can bolster their resources to stand up to the rising Russian threat.

Mr. Flurry’s article explains prophecies recorded in Ezekiel 38, Daniel 2 and 8 and Revelation, showing that these developments are leading to a time of destruction that “will cause more suffering than the world has ever known!”

But he adds that these developments ultimately point to overwhelmingly good news:

[I]t does describe a lot of suffering coming upon this world—the worst ever. But it is tied directly to the coming of the Messiah, when all suffering ends, and God brings peace, happiness and joy to the world! That is the best news you could ever hear!

For more information about these Bible prophecies and to understand more about the “best news you could ever hear,” read Mr. Flurry’s article “The Crimean Crisis Is Reshaping Europe!