Putin Unveils Nuclear Weapons He Claims Could Breach U.S. Defenses

Russia has developed nuclear weapons capable of penetrating U.S. defense systems, the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, said Thursday, sharpening rhetoric against the West and raising the prospect of a new arms race with Washington.

In language reminiscent of the Cold War, Mr. Putin used his annual state- of-the-union address to boast about Russia’s military prowess and show off a series of new armaments, including intercontinental ballistic missiles and underwater drones.

“Efforts to contain Russia have failed,” he said to Russia’s political elite gathered in the Kremlin’s St. George’s Hal

.. Mr. Putin said would consider any nuclear attack on its allies an attack on Russia and would launch an immediate response

..  “Russia’s growing military might is a reliable guarantee of peace on our planet because it ensures the strategic balance in the world.”

.. The Trump administration has warned that Russia and China are moving to modernize and expand their nuclear arsenals in a bid to “return to Great Power competition.”

.. The U.S., he said, had exploited Russia’s economic, political and military weakness after the collapse of the Soviet Union to ignore Moscow’s views, including by moving the North Atlantic Treaty Organization closer to Russia’s borders.

No one listened to us. Listen to us now,”

.. Mr. Putin said the Syria campaign had allowed the military to show off the results of a modernization program he launched in 2011. “The whole world knows the names of our newest airplanes, submarines, air-defense systems,” he said.

.. Ivan Konovalov, an independent defense analyst in Moscow, said the speech demonstrated how quickly Russia’s arms industry is developing.

“It is developing some of the best weapons in the world, and the United States, if they want to maintain parity, has to answer the challenge quickly,” he said.