Nuclear war outbreak’s fear grows. What are nuke capabilities of Russia?  

WION Web Team
Moscow Updated: Mar 01, 2022, 12:10 PM(IST)

Russia holds the world's biggest nuclear arsenal (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Russia has the largest number of nuclear warheads in the world. It has 6,255 warheads, while the US commands 5,550. China follows behind with 350 and France has 290, according to SIPRI, a research institute in Stockholm. In 2020, Russia spent $8 billion on the building and maintenance of nuclear arsenal, as per Nobel peace prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Holding supposedly the world's biggest nuclear arsenal, Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed strategic forces on high alert on Sunday as his forces are embroiled in conflict with Ukraine.   

On Monday, Russia's defence ministry said its nuclear missile forces and Northern and Pacific fleets had been placed on "enhanced" combat duty. The decision has been made in line with Putin’s order.  

As there is a fear of an outbreak of nuclear war, let’s get acquainted with the capabilities of Russia.  

Also Read: 'Russia using ‘brutal’ cluster explosives, vacuum bombs in Ukraine'

Russia has the largest number of nuclear warheads in the world. It has 6,255 warheads, while the US commands 5,550. China follows behind with 350 and France has 290, said SIPRI, a research institute in Stockholm.  

In 2020, Russia spent $8 billion on the building and maintenance of nuclear arsenal, as per Nobel peace prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).  

The Russian constitution grants control of the nuclear weapons to the president, but the transmission of any order for its use, and the authentication of it, also includes the defence minister and the chief of staff of armed forces.  

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But will the Russian president go for nuclear weapons? Or will the military implement the order, if it comes? Experts are still in doubt.  

"I personally don't think the Russian military elite will cheer at the idea of limited nuclear use in or about Ukraine," tweeted Kristin Ven Bruusgaard at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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