June 6, 2023

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The world’s nuclear arsenal is swelling amid the war in Ukraine

(Oslo) The war in Ukraine is rekindling fears of nuclear weapons, according to a new report that shows an increase in the number of active warships around the world last year, particularly those fired by Russia and China.

By early 2023, nine official and unofficial nuclear powers possessed 9,576 nuclear weapons, the equivalent of “more than 135,000 Hiroshima bombs,” according to the Nuclear Prohibition Monitor published Wednesday by Norwegian NGO Folkehjelp.

This represents an increase of 136 operational warships in one year, which will be accounted for by Russia, which has the largest arsenal on the planet (5889 warheads), as well as China, India, South Korea, North Korea and Pakistan.

“This increase is worrying and continues a trend that started in 2017,” commented the report’s officer, Kreit Laklo Ă˜stern.

The report, produced in conjunction with the Federation of American Scientists, comes as Russia stirs up nuclear threats over its invasion of Ukraine and the delivery of Western weapons to Kiev.

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the Minsk agreement on the deployment of “tactical” nuclear weapons in Belarus, at the gateway to the European Union, led by his close ally Alexander Lukashenko since 1994.

“There is nothing unusual here: the United States has been doing this for decades. They have been stationing their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allies for a long time,” Vladimir Putin said in an interview broadcast on Russian television.

According to estimates by various independent observers of the world’s nuclear arsenals, such as Sibri in Sweden, over a hundred so-called “tactical” US weapons have been deployed over the years in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. .

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The announcement was sharply criticized by Ukraine and its Western allies, with NATO condemning the “dangerous and reckless rhetoric” and the EU threatening new sanctions on Minsk if the move is carried out.

Decrease in total balance

In the shadow of the conflict in Ukraine, North Korea has stepped up ballistic missile launches and tests to increase its ability to launch nuclear strikes.

In this very dire geopolitical situation, the fear of using these destructive weapons is at a record high today since the end of the Cold War three decades ago, polls in several countries show.

The total stockpile of nuclear weapons, including those withdrawn from service, on the other hand continues to decrease: their number has decreased from 12,705 to 12,512 in one year.

“This is just one case, as Russia and the United States annually remove a small number of obsolete nuclear weapons that have been decommissioned,” said Hans Christensen, an official at the Federation of Scientists.

Between them, Russia, the second largest nuclear power with 5,244 warheads, and the United States account for about 89% of the total nuclear arsenal, the report said.

If the introduction of new warships does not stop, Mr.me Laclough Eastern.

The eight official nuclear powers are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, while Israel is unofficial.

According to Sibri, the number of nuclear weapons in 1986 was a record high of more than 70,000, a massive drop since the end of the Cold War.