«Piterschiki». Russian capitalism. The first attempt

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Although it formally dropped the Soviet Union's no- first-use policy, the document "did not assign any specific missions to nuclear weapons and did not define any threats to which nuclear weapons were supposed to respond. For the remainder of the s, Russia debated the role and structure of its nuclear forces, mostly behind closed doors.

Some scholars argue the profile of nuclear weapons increased during this period, largely in response to NATO enlargement. Despite an expansion of the nuclear mission, official documents suggest that reliance on nuclear weapons was seen as a temporary "fix" until Russia sufficiently modernized and strengthened its conventional forces. In February , Moscow adopted a new document titled Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation for the Time Period through the Year , which replaced its previous iteration from Although the Soviet Union carried out some initial research on nuclear fission in the s, the country's nuclear weapons program began as a wartime intelligence operation that gathered information on atomic activities in the United States and Nazi Germany.

Research carried out prior to World War II, by individuals such as Iuliy Khariton and Iakov Zeldovich, made little impact outside the Soviet Union, and did not enjoy significant government backing. Soviet nuclear research continued in the early s, but with less urgency than in the West. It was intelligence relating to the Maud Report in the United Kingdom , and concerns that Nazi Germany had an atomic project, that eventually led to the reestablishment of Soviet nuclear research in early Igor Kurchatov was appointed scientific director of the atomic project in March , but at this stage the program remained a hedge against future uncertainties, with the government skeptical that a bomb could be developed quickly enough to affect the outcome of the war.

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The beginnings of the Soviet nuclear weapons program were heavily influenced by espionage. Some scientists working on the Manhattan Project, such as Klaus Fuchs, provided a steady stream of information to the Soviets that included a blueprint for the Fat Man implosion device dropped on Nagasaki. Fuchs was working on the team at Los Alamos that calculated implosion, an area vital for the success of the Soviet effort.


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After the U. Beria chaired the Spetskom , providing prison labor for construction of the nuclear complex, while Kurchatov remained Scientific Director of the program. Fat Man design to verify the results of independent work carried out by Soviet scientists at Arzamas where the first Soviet device was built. In , Kurchatov also began designing the first industrial-scale reactor, located in the Urals close to the town of Chelyabinsk. Construction of the site began in early , and was completed by the end of ; it became known as Chelyabinsk, and would also be the site of the Soviet Union's first plutonium separation plant.

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After August , the Soviet Union pursued three methods of isotopic separation: electromagnetic separation; thermal diffusion ; and gaseous diffusion. Fat Man design supplied by Fuchs. The first device, named RDS-1 which never entered service , was detonated on 29 August at the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, and was meant to convey a political message that the Soviet Union had arrived on the atomic scene. A second test took place two years later, on 24 September , which was based on a Soviet design and produced a yield of 40 kilotons , twice that of Fat Man.

While work was underway on the Soviet Union's first atomic weapon, a group of scientists including Andrei Sakharov, Yakov Zeldovich, and Khariton were already conducting work on an early thermonuclear device.

Russia’s Population Declines in for First Time in a Decade

However, there is some debate over whether this particular device can be called a true hydrogen bomb or simply a highly boosted fission device. The first test of the RDS, as it was called, took place on 22 November at Semipalatinsk and produced an undisputed thermonuclear detonation.

After Stalin's death in and Beria's subsequent arrest and execution, the military assumed responsibility for the Soviet weapons program.


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  8. Under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet nuclear weapons were increasingly used as a tool in pursuit of military and diplomatic objectives. Senate consideration, but both sides continued to honor the treaty until , when President Ronald Reagan withdrew the United States from SALT II after asserting that the Soviet Union had violated its political commitment to the treaty. However, was also the year of the Reykjavik summit, when President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev came close to an agreement on abolishing all offensive nuclear weapons within a decade, a deal that eventually stumbled on the issue of U.

    The George W. According to SORT, each party would reduce the number of its deployed strategic nuclear weapons arsenal to a quantity between 1, and 2, by the end of The agreement, named the " New START Treaty ," limits each side to 1, warheads, and deployed and non-deployed strategic nuclear delivery vehicles of which a maximum of can be deployed. Senate ratified the treaty on 22 December , with the Russian Duma following suit on 25 January Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia faced the enormous task of controlling, accounting for, and securing the Soviet nuclear legacy.

    Moscow's commitments to START I required it to destroy several strategic delivery vehicles, and to store or dismantle the resulting surplus nuclear warheads. Furthermore, substantial numbers of nuclear weapons and delivery systems located in Ukraine , Belarus , and Kazakhstan had to be secured and transported to Russian facilities for dismantlement. Russia also faced the challenge of ensuring the safety and security of weapons and weapons-related materials located at dozens of sites throughout the country.

    In the tumultuous political and financial climate of the s, the government had difficulty paying salaries at its nuclear facilities, and also could not fund security upgrades, scrapping of nuclear delivery systems, or undertaking new accounting measures.