Will Ukraine become a nuclear power again within a year?

Despite the complete destruction of Ukraine’s nuclear weapons, the manufacturing documents and human resources on nuclear science are still there, so when necessary, Ukraine can quickly build nuclear weapons in just a short time. short time.

Colonel Oleg Zhdanov of the Ukrainian armed forces said that the country can re-equip nuclear weapons in just one year, this comment was made in a conversation on Ukrainian TV Channel 24. But should not be evaluated systems such as the Zircon hypersonic missile and the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

“If Russia makes the Zircon missile, it will be a very powerful weapon, this is a hypersonic weapon. Currently in the world only the US, Israel, the UK and Japan have measures against such weapons. of Russia,” Zhdanov said.

Nuclear missile SS-18 Satan
Nuclear missile SS-18 Satan fully design and manufactured in Ukraine during Soviet era

Although it is not possible to develop weapons similar to Russia, but according to this colonel, Ukraine can develop ICBM missiles to create a counterbalance. “Ukraine has the potential to build ICBM missiles, if ordered by the country’s military, they can be developed within a year to be completed,” Zhdanov said.

Ukraine used to scare many countries because they “inherited” a large number of nuclear warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and various launch vehicles, making them only inferior to Russia and the United States, and Western European powers such as Britain, France, Germany or China were just “juniors” in the early 1990s.

Specifically, when the Soviet Union broke up, Ukraine held 220 intercontinental ballistic missiles, including 130 ICBMs R-36 (NATO called SS-18 Satan, range of 16,000km). While 46 ICBMs installed on trains RT-23 Molodets (NATO call them SS-24 Scalpel, range of 10,000km. In addition, Ukraine also received a huge “dowry” of 25 strategic bombers Tu-95MS capable of carrying nuclear weapons during the Dissolution of the USSR.

Missile silo in central Ukraine
Missile silo in the Central Ukraine for a SS-24 missile

The most modern and fearsome in the air force were 19 strategic bombers Tu-160 Blackjack, more than the current number of Russia. Ukraine possesses a large number of long-range cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads Kh-55 up to 1,080.

According to a US intelligence statistic, at the time of 1992, Ukraine inherited a large nuclear legacy of the Soviet Union. On the territory of Ukraine remain 1,950 units of strategic nuclear weapons and 1,883 units of tactical nuclear weapons, including 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

At that time, the US did not want to spontaneously generate a nuclear power that could cooperate with Russia to deal with it, and Moscow did not want to have a major nuclear concern close to the West, and Europe was also alarmed. with nuclear concerns on the eastern flank.

As a result, Britain, the United States, and Russia (at that time relations were still quite good) forced the countries that broke away from the former Soviet Union that still possessed nuclear weapons and launch vehicles to destroy them, and they promised to protect the nuclear weapons. So all the countries to give up its nuclear weapons.

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk said that the country forced give up its nuclear weapons at the request of Britain, the United States, and Russia. “We were faced with a choice – either we give up maintaining nuclear weapons, or they will punish economic pressure,” he said. Former Ukrainian President Kravchuk also said that if Ukraine does not give up its nuclear weapons, the country will face the risk of a major economic crisis.

Mr. Leonid Kravchuk added that in addition to pressure from the outside, there are also internal problems, mainly economic ones because there is no money to maintain such a huge army with such destructive nuclear capabilities.

Following the ratification of the Lisbon Agreement of 1992 (This is a supplementary agreement to the Soviet-US Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction Treaty START-1), Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan agreed to give up their nuclear weapons.

By 1994-1996, under the Lisbon Agreement and the Budapest Memorandum, the Kiev government transferred all of its nuclear weapons to Russia. Most of Russia’s Tu-160 fleet was transferred from Ukraine.

In Ukraine alone, the destruction and withdrawal of nuclear warheads from the country was completed in June 1996. Some weapons that are not delivered was destroyed by Ukraine.

RSD-10 Pioner ICBM
RSD-10 Pioner ICBM

Starting in 1996, Ukraine had a state that does not possess nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Russia, the US and the UK are committed to providing security for Kiev in the event of a foreign military invasion.

In 2001, the final destruction of launchers in intercontinental ballistic missile wells took place. The Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers were partly exchanged for Russia, partly destroyed mercilessly.

Despite completely destroying nuclear weapons, but manufacturing documents and many scientists about atomic weapons are still there, if necessary Ukraine can quickly reproduce and equip.

Of course, the US will oppose aggression despite its recent close relationship with Ukraine, and Russia will certainly not allow Ukraine to re-equip nuclear weapons to threaten its right armpit. But you never know when the situation gets worse, Especially recent skirmish between Russia and Ukraine which may force Ukraine to build nuclear weapons to counter Russian aggression.

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