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Russia to pay increased attention to boosting nuclear forces: Putin

Russia will continue to pay increased attention to boosting its nuclear forces and will begin mass deliveries of Zircon sea-launched hypersonic missiles, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

In an address to mark Thursday’s Defender of the Fatherland public holiday, Putin also said Russia would keep on equipping its armed forces with advanced equipment.

Putin made his remarks two days after announcing Russia would suspend the New START treaty, its last remaining arms control agreement with Washington. The treaty limits each country’s deployed nuclear warheads.

“As before, we will pay increased attention to strengthening the nuclear triad,” said Putin, referring to nuclear missiles based on land, sea and in the air.

Putin said that for the first time, Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles – a weapon able to carry multiple nuclear warheads – would be deployed this year.

“We will continue mass production of air-based hypersonic Kinzhal systems and will start mass supplies of sea-based Zircon hypersonic missiles,” he said. 

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