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Russia's Nuclear Missile Army
Russian long range bombers were escorted by several MiG-31 fighters all the way from Northern Russia, past Norway and approached Great Britain. The British intercepted the sortie and made sure there were no hostile intentions and monitored radio transmissions. Russian pilots disclosed, before turning away, the long range bombers were carrying armed nuclear bombs. What was the intention? Why? Simply muscle flexing? Intimidation from Putin?
Putin is exercising Russia's prowess. He is on a mission to make Russia great again and superior to America. There is an obvious dislike of the West in his mind. Part of the problem is NATO, which after the collapse of Russia in 1991, began to encroach (from Russian perspective) becoming close to the Russian border. Poland was the last one to become a NATO member. Next to them is the Ukraine.
But Russia should be feared and not treated like a second class power. Its missile army contains 305 ballistic missiles capable of reaching just about anywhere and 1166 nuclear warheads. Russia has the following missile armies: 27th Guards Missile Army (Vladimir), the 31st Missile Army (Orenburg), the 33rd Guards Missile Army (Omsk). There is a total of 11 missile divisions. The 27th Army has nearly 200 nuclear missiles in its five divisions armed with SS-18, SS-19, SS-27, SS-25 missiles. It is by far the strongest of the missile armies. The 32nd Army has 36 nuclear missiles in its two divisions, the 13th and 42nd. These are SS-18. The 33rd Army has about 72 nuclear missiles in its three divisions (35th, 39th, 62nd). This army is the most outdated with SS-25, although, 28 of the total is SS-18.
Despite the nuclear arms agreements, Russia continues at Putin's insistence, to increase and modernize its nuclear army and is testing a new missile that is superior to the SS-18, the Sarmat. The Ukrainian war is all Putin's doing. Unable to accept reality that the Ukraine, once part of Russia until 1994, is now a country that wants to join NATO. It sees Poland as a success and wants to emulate it. All the cards in this poker game are in Putin's hand. NATO does not want to fight over this, but Putin is insisting by moving armor and artillery manned by Russians to the border. The US follows the same unwillingness. Arming Ukrainians may make Putin pause and think about more military action, but it will not deter him from even more aggressive moves. Why? He knows he has most everything in favor except world economics, which are hurting the Russian people via sanctions. Yet, Russians like what Putin is doing in the Ukraine and unless domestic issues put Putin on notice, it is a green light for more aggression until Putin gets more of the Ukraine back. Putin can easily widen the conflict by attacking other former Russian territory now under NATO. Putin knows America will not send troops there, other than, token ones. Anything the West does militarily there takes longer because of distance and Russian forces could blitzkrieg at a moment's notice because Ukrainian forces are helpless in this David vs. Goliath war.
Putin may be reaching a point of just going for it. Let Russian troops recover much of the Ukraine that was once theirs. By the time NATO does anything, it will be too late and once the deed is done, come to peace on his terms. Look at the Crimea. He did it there.