In the Cold War, Soviet Russia produced 55,000 nukes, and it made 30,000 warheads in 1991. [Source]

Russia became one of the nations to have the largest nuclear stockpile and it has a deteriorating relationship with the US (one example: 2020 cyberattack). [Source]

Russia for some reason loves nuclear power (which I find not surprising). Although the U.S. and Russia are on a nuclear deal (New Start) which got extended recently, I don't think the New Start covers it all. We have seen what happened to the poor INF treaty.

(I'm Not Comparing the US to Russia or Russia to the US neither I am Contrasting them)

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    For the same reason as the USA. – Martin Schröder Feb 23 at 20:15
  • And What does "For the same reason as the USA" Mean. Clarify Please. – Lawyer Feb 23 at 20:18
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    @MartinSchröder I get what you mean – Lawyer Feb 23 at 20:27
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    I think Martin was alluding to the fact that the US and Russia have similar-sized nuclear stockpiles. – Sneftel Feb 23 at 20:28
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    The title and body of this question don't agree. "Why does Russia have so many nuclear weapons?" is a good, on-topic question. "Is Russia up to something?" is not. I'm really not sure what the point of paragraphs 2-4 is – divibisan Feb 23 at 20:29

I am going entirely speculative here.

I think this is because Russia doesn't have an alliance like NATO.

NATO is a huge threat to Russia. The only option for Russia to counter NATO has been to form an alliance with China. However, Russia has a trust deficit with China since the Soviet time. During the Soviet time, the distrust became evident in the form of the Sino-Soviet Split. During the present time, the distrust is most probably because of China's habit of reverse engineering Russian defense products.

However, after US-China Trade War, Russia found a renewed reason to come closer to China. It's about US sanctions and the decline of the Russian Ruble.

Therefore, if the Chinese Yuan can dominate or at least become a parallel trustable currency in the international ForEx market, I think, we would be able to see a Sino-Russian alliance against NATO in our lifetimes.

In that case, we might see the reduction of nuclear weapons, but I am not optimistic.


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