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Country Spotlight

Upon Ukraine’s 1991 independence, over 1,700 Soviet nuclear weapons were left on its territory. Ukraine never possessed operational control of the weapons, and all were removed to Russia under a 1994 agreement in exchange for security assurances. Ukraine has accused Russia of violating the agreement with its 2014 annexation of Crimea, and again with the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Region   Former Soviet Union

1,240 Nuclear warheads inherited from former Soviet Union and returned to Russia

16 Intercontinental ballistic missile silos deactivated and destroyed

2014 Lost control over radiological material in Crimea after Russia annexed the territory

1992 Disassembled or transferred chemical weapons infrastructure by 1992


  • In 2023, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine shut down all six reactors, removing the risk of serious radiological consequences
  • Never possessed operational control of any nuclear weapons left on its territory after the fall of the Soviet Union
  • Relies on 15 nuclear power reactors to generate over half of the country’s electricity
  • Fulfilled 2010 commitment to remove all Highly Enriched Uranium from its territory 


  • Has not engaged in biological weapons activities since independence in 1991
  • Joined a Cooperative Threat Reduction agreement with the U.S. to secure biological institutes
  • Continues to study biological agents at Ministry of Health and Veterinary laboratories


  • Developing the Hrim-2, a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM)
  • Used its Neptune antiship cruise missile to destroy a Russian missile cruiser; modified the Neptune for use as a land-attack cruise missile
  • Used ATACMS missiles received from the US in 2023 to attack Russian military targets


  • Territory used by Soviet government for chemical weapons storage and testing prior to 1991
  • Returned all chemical weapons to Russia for elimination following independence
  • Participates in training to respond to assassinations involving chemical weapons

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

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Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosion tests on Earth. It needs eight key countries to ratify before entry into force.

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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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Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

The MTCR is an informal, non-treaty association of governments sharing common interests in the nonproliferation of missiles, unmanned air vehicles, and related technologies.

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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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NTI Resources on the War in Ukraine


NTI Resources on the War in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues, destroying cities and causing the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe in a generation, NTI’s policy experts are fanning out across the news media to discuss the implications of Putin’s actions

Education Center

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

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  1. Andrew Katell and Hanna Arhirova, “Explainer: Ukraine’s Nuclear Power Plant Shutdown Cuts Risks,” Associated Press News, September 12, 2022, www.
  2. Steven Erlanger and Marc Santora, “‘This Is Not Ukraine’s Fault’: Tensions Ease over Missile Strike in Poland,” The New York Times, November 17, 2022,


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