Russia has the most extensive arsenal of naval tactical nuclear weapons in the world. In stark contrast to President Vladimir Putin’s frequent discussion of the country’s strategic nuclear weapons, the Russian government generally is quite secretive about its tactical nuclear weapons. The country claims it has reduced its tactical nuclear weapons inventory by 75 percent from late Cold War levels. This is probably true, but the Soviet tactical nuclear weapons arsenal was so large that this still could leave 5,000 or more tactical warheads available today, as Pravda reported in 2014. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) reports that Russia has 2,000 non-strategic nuclear weapons and is increasing and modernizing them. If Russian press reports are correct, the NPR number is a considerable underestimate.
Russian Tactical Nukes Are Real
By Mark B. Schneider