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The United States has called Vladimir Putin's bluff after suggesting over half of their nuclear missiles "do not work".
The news comes after a fresh threat to the West this week, with the head of Russia's space agency claimed the country has 50 new nuclear missiles.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos and a close allay of the Russian president, said an array of Sarmat-2 missiles – measuring 14 storeys tall and weighing 208 tons – will be deployed by the autumn to remind the world of Russia's capabilities.
But in March, three US officials with intelligence on Russian warheads claimed that around 60 percent of Moscow's missiles are in fact inoperative.
Fears of a nuclear-armed conflict have been one of the main themes of the debate about how to deal with Russia after the Kremlin ordered its invasion of Ukraine back in early February. Rogozin went on to add: "It remains only to advise the aggressors to talk more politely with Russia."
While warnings of full-blown nuclear war to tactical nukes being used on the battlefield in Ukraine have been widespread, some US officials are now suggesting that NATO should not be fearful of such scenarios.
According to Reuters, Russia launched more than 1,100 missiles between late February and the end of March.
But of these launches, Russian forces are seeing failure rates as high as 60 percent, two of the officials told the news agency. The officials did add, however, that the failure rate depended on the type of missile being launched and varied day-to-day.
As Vladimir Putin's progress in Ukraine appears to have halted, Russian television pundit Margarita Simonyan threatened earlier this week that any result other than a Russian victory would "end badly for all of humanity"
This comes as Russia's space boss warned that a new nuclear missile could turn the West into a "deep radioactive crater" if World War 3 begins.
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- Vladimir Putin
- Russia Ukraine war
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