Russia Update: Putin Announces 40 New ICBMs and a New Russian Radar System to Counter West

June 16, 2015
President Vladimir Putin speaking on June 16, 2015 at Army 2015, an international military technology forum. Photo by TASS

President Vladimir Putin said 40 new inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) will be added to Russia’s arsenal, along with a new radar system to counter the West.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

The previous issue is here.


Russia This Week:

Is ‘Novorossiya’ Really Dead?
From Medal of Valor to Ubiquitous Propaganda Symbol: the History of the St. George Ribbon
What Happened to the Slow-Moving Coup?
Can We Be Satisfied with the Theory That Kadyrov Killed Nemtsov?
All the Strange Things Going On in Moscow

Special features:

With Cash and Conspiracy Theories, Russian Orthodox Philanthropist Malofeyev is Useful to the Kremlin
Alexey Navalny On the Murder of Boris Nemtsov
Theories about Possible Perpetrators of the Murder of Boris Nemtsov
Novaya Gazeta Releases Sensational Kremlin Memo

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‘Right To Forget’ Gets Initial Approval From Russia Parliament

A law has received initial approval from the Russian lower parliament, the State Duma, which will require search engines to delete personal or outdated information at the request of users. 

A somewhat similar measure has recently gone into effect in the European Union, but Russia’s version of the bill is proving to be more controversial. Business Insider reports:

“The limitations introduced by this bill reflect an imbalance between private and public interests. This bill impedes people’s access to important and reliable information, or makes it impossible to obtain such information,” [Yandex, Russia’s biggest search engine] said.

Unlike the EU legislation, the Russian bill would force search engines to erase information about a person even if it is in the public interest. Failure to comply could result in a fine.

New York Times journalist Andrew Roth is also skeptical, about this law, which could provide powerful Russians the opportunity to hide their potentially incriminating history:

James Miller
Putin Announces 40 New ICBMs and a New Russian Radar System to Counter West

President Vladimir Putin said 40 new inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) will be added to Russia’s arsensal, the Independent reported.

The Russian president made the announcement during his opening address at the Army-2015 Expo, an international military forum near Moscow.

Mr Putin said that “more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defence systems” would be added to Russia’s nuclear arsenal this year.

The Army-2015 fair is held to show off the latest developments in Russian hardware, and Mr Putin promised generals an array of other new weapons – including the advanced Armata tanks that were shown off at a Red Square parade last month.

According to a report in, Putin also spoke of a new radar system (translation by The Interpreter):

In the coming months, there will be a state trial of a new radar unit for detection of air targets beyond the horizon. Subsequently they will monitor the Western strategic direction.

Putin said a similar system would be designed for the eastern direction.

Putin said battle robots would define the future of Russia’s armed forces:

Equipping them [the forces] with modern and promising weaponry is a key task of military construction. And the implementation of a large-scale state program of armament, the modernization of the defense and industrial complex is something we will have been devoting and will go on devoting a lot of attention to.

Putin said that by 2020, the percentage of modern armaments in the Russian army would be 70-100%; “it should grow to 70% and in some places 100%” — which he called a “serious indicator.”

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama discussed the issue of placing ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe or Asia, which was seen as a response to Russia’s violation of the 1987 INF (intermediate-range nuclear forces) treaty. This would enable pre-emptive destructive of Russian armaments. As we reported, this statement drew an angry response from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Pentagon is also planning to deploy heavy weapons in Europe to counter the Russian threat.

Russia has engaged in a number of provocations against the EU and US recently, notably on May 30 when a Russian military jet flew within 10 feet of an American military plane.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick