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Russia

The Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse made Russia the inheritor of the vast majority of the USSR’s weapons of mass destruction. Although Russia has substantially reduced its stockpiles from Cold War peaks, it still controls one of the world’s largest and deadliest nuclear forces, and deteriorating relations with the United States have stalled further arms control diplomacy.

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Region   Former Soviet Union

6,257 Estimated nuclear warheads

~1,760 Estimated nuclear warheads awaiting dismantlement

~1,600 Deployed strategic nuclear warheads

754 Strategic missile launchers


Nuclear

  • Inherited approximately 35,000 nuclear weapons after the fall of the USSR
  • Limited to 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads under New START Treaty
  • World's largest stockpile of non-strategic nuclear weapons

Russia Nuclear Overview


Biological

  • Launched full-scale offensive biological warfare program in 1928
  • Continued expansion and modernization of offensive BW program after ratification of the BTWC
  • Current extent of biological weapons and biodefense programs unknown

Russia Biological Overview


Missile

  • Modernizing missile delivery systems with the goal of completely eliminating Soviet legacy systems by 2026
  • Developing two new ICBMs: a road mobile ICBM (the RS-26 Rubezh) and a heavy liquid-fueled ICBM (the Sarmat)
  • Deploys 12 submarines of 3 different classes, each carrying a different model of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM)

Russia Missile Overview


Chemical

  • Possessed world's largest chemical weapons arsenal during Cold War
  • Announced complete destruction of CW stockpile in 2017
  • Accused of developing a new class of nerve agents (Novichok) and using them in the 2018 attempted assassination of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the UK

Russia Chemical Overview

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

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NPT

The NPT is a treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons through the three pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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New START Treaty

The New START is an agreement for nuclear arms reduction between the US and Russia, and establishes a limit on deployed strategic warheads.

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Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

The CIS is an association that coordinates the facilitation of free movement of goods, services, labor force, and capital between member states. It also promotes cooperation on security matters.

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Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires countries to destroy all chemical weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using chemical weapons.

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Facilities

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Fuel Company of Rosatom (TVEL)

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Fuel Fabrication
  • Facility Status Operational

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Rosenergoatom

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Power Reactors
  • Facility Status Operational

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Federal Service for Environmental, Technological, and Nuclear Oversight (Rostekhnadzor)

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Regulatory
  • Facility Status Operational

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State Atomic Energy Cooperation Rosatom

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Power Reactors
  • Facility Status Operational

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Zababakhin All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Technical Physics (VNIITF)

  • Location Snezhinsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast
  • Type Missile-Production
  • Facility Status Operational

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Urals Elektromechanical Plant (UEMZ)

  • Location Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast
  • Type Missile-Production
  • Facility Status Operational

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Start Production Association (PO Start)

  • Location Zarechny, Penza Oblast
  • Type Missile-Production
  • Facility Status Operational

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Sever Production Association (PO Sever)

  • Location Novosibirsk, Novosibirsk Oblast
  • Type Missile-Production
  • Facility Status Operational

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Instrumentation Factory (PSZ)

  • Location Tryokhgorny, Chelyabinsk Oblast
  • Type Missile-Production
  • Facility Status Operational

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Elektrokhimpribor Combine

  • Location Lesnoy, Sverdlovsk Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Enrichment
  • Facility Status Operational

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Bazalt

  • Location Saratov, Saratov Oblast
  • Type Missile-Production
  • Facility Status Operational

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All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Experimental Physics (VNIIEF)

  • Location Sarov, Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Education and Training
  • Facility Status Operational

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All-Russian Scientific Institute of Measuring Systems (NIIIS)

  • Location Sarov, Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Research and Development
  • Facility Status Operational

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All-Russia Research Institute of Automatics (VNIIA)

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Research and Development
  • Facility Status Operational

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RosRAO

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Waste Management
  • Facility Status Operational

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National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management (NO RAO)

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Waste Management
  • Facility Status Operational

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Central Test Site of Russia on Novaya Zemlya

  • Location Novaya Zemlya District, Arkhangelsk Oblast
  • Type Missile-Testing
  • Facility Status Operational

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Troitskii Institute of Innovative and Thermonuclear Research (TRINITI)

  • Location Troitsk, federal city of Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Research and Development
  • Facility Status Operational

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Scientific Research Institute for Instruments (NIIP) (Lytkarino)

  • Location Moscow Lytkarino, Moscow Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Research and Development
  • Facility Status Operational

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Red Star

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Missile-Production
  • Facility Status Operational

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National Research Center Kurchatov Institute

  • Location Kurchatov, Kursk Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Research and Development
  • Facility Status Operational

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Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute (MIFI or MEPhI)

  • Location Moscow, Russia
  • Type Nuclear-Education and Training
  • Facility Status Operational

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All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Experimental Physics (VNIIEF)

  • Location Sarov, Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast
  • Type Missile-Research and Development
  • Facility Status Operational

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Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR)

  • Location Dubna, Moscow Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Research and Development
  • Facility Status Operational

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I.I. Leypunsky Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE)

  • Location Obninsk, Kaluga Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Power Reactor
  • Facility Status Operational

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B.P. Konstantinov St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (IPPN or PNPI)

  • Location Gatchina, Leningrad Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Research and Development
  • Facility Status Operational

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Afrikantov Experimental Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering (OKBM)

  • Location Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Power Reactors
  • Facility Status Operational

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A.P. Aleksandrov Scientific Research Technological Institute (NITI)

  • Location Sosnovyy Bor, Leningrad Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Power Reactors
  • Facility Status Operational

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A.I. Alikhanov Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP)

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Heavy Water Production
  • Facility Status Operational

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A.A. Bochvar High-Technology Scientific Research Institute for Inorganic Materials (VNIINM)

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Waste Management
  • Facility Status Operational

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Mining and Chemical Combine (GKhK)

  • Location Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai
  • Type Chemical
  • Facility Status Operational

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Mayak Production Association

  • Location Ozersk, Chelyabinsk Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Enrichment
  • Facility Status Operational

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Akademik Lomonosov

  • Location Pevek, Chukotka
  • Type Nuclear-Power Reactor
  • Facility Status Construction completed in 2019

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Plesetsk Cosmodrome

  • Location Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russian Federation
  • Type Missile-Base
  • Facility Status Operational

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AtomRedMetZoloto (ARMZ Uranium Holding)

  • Location Moscow
  • Type Nuclear-Mining and Milling
  • Facility Status Operational

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Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP)

  • Location Novosibirsk, Novosibirsk Oblast
  • Type Chemical
  • Facility Status Operational

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Chepetsky Mechanical Plant (ChMZ)

  • Location Glazov, Udmurt Republic
  • Type Nuclear-Mining and Milling
  • Facility Status Operational

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Electrochemical Plant (EKhZ) Production Association

  • Location Zelenogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai
  • Type Nuclear-Enrichment
  • Facility Status Operational

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Urals Electrochemical Combine (Uekhk)

  • Location Novouralsk, Sverdlovsk Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Enrichment
  • Facility Status Operational

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Siberian Chemical Combine (SKhK)

  • Location Seversk, Tomsk Oblast
  • Type Chemical
  • Facility Status Operational

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Machine-Building Plant (Elemash)

  • Location Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast
  • Type Nuclear-Weaponization
  • Facility Status Operational

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Analysis

Russia

Education Center

Extensive resources on nuclear policy, biological threats, radiological security, cyber threats and more.

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Sources

Kristensen, Hans M., and Matt Korda. “Russian Nuclear Forces, 2021.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 76, no. 2, 18 March 2021: 102–17. https://thebulletin.org/

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia, Press Statement, “Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence”, Article IV and V, 8 June 2020, www.mid.ru

United States Department of State, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, “2016 Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments,” 11 April 2016, state.gov.

OPCW Director-General Commends Major Milestone as Russia Completes Destruction of Chemical Weapons Stockpile under OPCW Verification,” The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 27 September 2017, www.opcw.org.

United Nations, Security Council, 8203rd Meeting (S/PV.8203), 17 March 2018, pg 10.

На ракетные комплексы «Ярс» перевооружены за пять лет 12 полков РФ,” Izvestia, 7 November 2017, www.iz.ru.

Franz-Stefan Gady, “First Serial-Produced RS-28 Sarmat ICBMs to Enter Service in Russia in 2021,” The Diplomat, 3 February 2020, thediplomat.com

Pavel Podvig, “Strategic fleet,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces, 8 April 2016, www.russianforces.org

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