Keywords: nuclear missiles, foreign policy, arms race, Cuban Missile Crisis


The formation and development of Russia’s nuclear missile programs is of great scientific, theoretical and practical importance in modern political science in view of the aggravation of international relations involving the Russian Federation, which is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The Russian Federation has the second largest nuclear missile stockpile and the political doctrine of this state declares the possibility of their use, which poses a threat to global peace and the existence of humankind in general. Given the above challenges, the purpose of this article is to analyze the formation and stages of development of Russia’s nuclear missile programs in order to understand the political nature of these processes and prospects for the use of this type of weapon. The article uses historical and political science research methods, with the primary emphasis on the methods of historical reconstruction and analytical interpretation. The article examines the formation of Russian nuclear missile programs at various historical stages. The author breaks down the development of the Russian nuclear missile programs and characterizes each period. This breakdown covers three stages: 1) 1940s – 1991, when nuclear missile programs were established; 2) 1991–2014, when nuclear missile programs carried a primarily defensive function; 3) 2014 – to the present, when nuclear missile programs are used to politically influence Western countries in order to consolidate the annexed territories. The author proves that the distinctive practical features of the current Russian nuclear missile programs include the increase of quantitative and qualitative indicators of nuclear missile capability, as well as the use of these programs in foreign policy positioning and influencing international processes.


Shchekin, A. S. (2021). Formation of national systems of nuclear deterrence of the USSR and the USA in the 1940s – 1950s. Voprosy studencheskoy nauki, 3(55), 218–229 [in Russian].

Novoselov, V. N. (2009). Implementation of the mobilization potential of the Soviet economy in the development of the defense industry complex of the USSR (1946–1965). Proceedings of the All-Russian scientific conference Mobilizatsionnya modelʹ ekonomiki: istoricheskiy opyt Rossii XX veka. (G. A. Goncharov, S. A. Bakanov, Eds.). Chelyabinsk: “Entsiklopediya”, pp. 211–220 [in Russian].

Usynin, Yu. K., Fedorets, N. V. (1998). Development of domestic rocketry and missile forces. Saratov: Izd-vo VVKIU, 252 p. [in Russian].

Postnikov, A. G. (2015). Reasons and trends in the development of nuclear weapons artillery of the Ground Forces in the USSR and the USA. Vestnik IrGTU, 5(100), 447–452 [in Russian].

Morokhov, D. A. (2017). Formation of the Russian nuclear system and international regulation of nuclear non-proliferation. Aktual'nye problemy nauki i praktiki, 1(006), 26–34 [in Russian].

On the approval of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation: Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of April 21, 2000 No. 706. (2000). Retrieved December 20, 2021 from [in Russian].

Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation [Date of signing December 25, 2014]. (2014, December 30). Rossiyskaya gazeta – Federal'nyy vypusk. Retrieved December 20, 2021 from [in Russian].

Khlopov, O. A. (2018). The Conception of Containment and the Problems of Nuclear Security in Russian-American Relations. Rossiya i sovremennyy mir, 4, 224–232 [in Russian].

Kudriashchenko, A. I., Potiekhin, O. V. (Eds.). (2019). Political problems of international security in the field of counteracting the proliferation of nuclear weapons (late XX – early XXI centuries). Kyiv: DU “Instytut vsesvitnioi istorii NAN Ukrainy”, 235 p. [in Ukrainian].

Einhorn, R. Prospects for U.S.–Russian nonproliferation cooperation. (2016, February 26). Task Force White Paper. Сarnegie. [in English].

Arbatov, A. (2017). Understanding the US–Russia Nuclear Schism. Survival. Vol. 59. No. 2. Pp. 33–66 [in English].

Mass Media: China’s growing military power begins to scare its neighbors. (n.d.). Vzglyad. Delovaya gazeta. Retrieved December 20, 2021 from [in Russian].

Allahverdyyev, R. A. ogly. (2020). Geopolitical aspects of modern military strategies of the world's leading states. Azimut nauchnykh issledovaniy: ekonomika i upravleniye. Vol. 9. No. 3(32). Pp. 3–16 [in Russian].

The main provisions of the military doctrine of the Russian Federation (presentation). (1993, November 19). Krasnaya Zvezda. Retrieved December 20, 2021 from [in Russian].

Arbatov, A. G., Dvorkin, V. Z., Oznobishhev, S. K. (Eds.). (2011). Russia and the dilemmas of nuclear disarmament. Moscow: IMEMO RAN, 237 p. [in Russian].

Military doctrine of the Russian Federation. (2010, 5 February). Retrieved December 20, 2021 from [in Russian].

Novikova, D. O. (2010). Russian military doctrine as amended in 2010: reactions and assessments of political expert circles in the West. Vestnik MGIMO-Universiteta, 4(13), 41–46. [in Russian].

Military doctrine of the Russian Federation. [in Russian].

Arbatov, A. (2019, January 28). The role of nuclear deterrence in strategic stability. Warranty or threat. Moscow Carnegie Center. [in Russian].

Karaganov, S. (2014, September 19). The reason for this conflict is the delusions of the West, so the Russians will not give up. Rossiya v global'noy politike. Retrieved December 20, 2021 from [in Russian].

Sinovets, P. Nuclear weapons in the military doctrine of the Russian Federation: evolution of approaches to their use. (n.d.). Center for Russian Studies. Retrieved December 20, 2021 from

How to Cite