While Mr Putin remains popular among core constituencies, most Russians are now experiencing their fourth year of shrinking real-terms incomes. Mr Putin said Russia had stepped up military development in response to the 2002 US withdrawal from the treaty on anti-ballistic weapons systems.True to the promise, Mr Putin spent much of the first hour of his speech focusing on matters of domestic peace. “They thought we would never be able to recover economically, militarily, so ignored our complaints,” he said.“They didn’t listen, but perhaps they will listen now.” The reality of the confrontation was somewhat more nuanced, suggested Mr Sutyagin.American anti-missile shields were “never” intended for use against Russia, since everyone understood the sophistication of Soviet weapons.While Russia has no doubt had the announcement planned for a while, the timing of the remarks appears to be a message to Washington in the wake of the Trump administration’s recently announced plans to develop new nuclear arms and questions about the future of arms-control agreements between Washington and Moscow.However, the US sought to play down the potential for a new arms race. We're not surprised," Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said. “President Putin has confirmed what the United States government has known all along, which Russia has denied: Russia has been developing destabilizing weapons systems for over a decade in direct violations of its treaty obligations,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.Most of the technology was not new: “It’s a cheap marketing trip.
Issues of production lines, finance and science made many of the technical claims suspect, he said.
He confirmed tests of a new intercontinental ballistic missile complex (ICBM) codenamed Sarmat.
Weighing more than 200 tonnes, the system has an increased range over its predecessor, and is able to fly at minimal altitude, he claimed.
“No anti-missile system – even in the future – has a hope of getting in its way,” said the president.
The rhetoric from Mr Putin was not unlike some of the recent boasts by President Donald Trump about the size and capability of the US nuclear arsenal.