Putin Claims Russia Has New Weapons to Make Others 'Useless'
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia has developed new nuclear weapons that cannot be stopped by western defense systems.
The claims by the Russian leader raise concerns that a new arms race could be taking place.
Putin spoke in a yearly speech before Russian officials and lawmakers in Moscow. The speech comes weeks before Russia's presidential election on March 18 in which Putin is seeking his fourth term as president.
New nuclear weapons
Putin said Russia's military had tested a group of new strategic weapons aimed at defeating western defense systems. The Russian leader used videos shown on a large screen to present some of the weapons he discussed.
He said the new weapons included a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a laser weapon and a nuclear-powered underwater drone.
The Russian leader described the cruise missile as being able to travel a "practically unlimited" distance. And he added that it could defeat antimissile systems by moving unpredictably.
Another weapon described was a nuclear-powered underwater drone able to travel at great depths under the sea. Putin said the device could target aircraft carriers and would avoid measures to stop it by traveling 10 times faster than any other ship.
Other weapons systems discussed included an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, able to travel at 20 times the speed of sound. Putin said a hypersonic air-launched missile, called Kinzhal, with a range of 2000 kilometers was already deployed.
And Putin said Russia had tested its Sarmat ICBM that could strike anywhere in the world carrying many nuclear warheads.
He said the new weapons had made the missile defenses of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) "useless."
Reactions from American lawmakers
Putin's speech drew quick responses from American lawmakers.
Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina told VOA, "I view Mr. Putin like I view any murderer or criminal. When they say something, they're probably lying, but you have to take it seriously."
And Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland added that "Countries that boast about their military — there's a reason why, because they know that their capacities are far less than what they claim to have."
Senator Dick Durbin is a leader of the Senate Democrats. He said, "Some of the things that Putin said today in Moscow are frightening, because they suggest advancements by the Russians when it comes to lethal technology." Durbin added that he wants "to sit down with our people in the Pentagon and the intelligence community to measure whether this is just bluster or a serious threat."
Strains on the economy
The Russian leader also spoke about economic problems.
Putin set a goal of cutting the number of Russian poor people in half. Government numbers show that nearly 14 percent of Russians live below the poverty line and real incomes decreased in 2017 for a fourth year. The poverty rate is nearly four percent higher than it was in 2010.
Russia has struggled economically as it faces international sanctions for its seizure of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and low prices for oil. Putin also called for improvements to the nation's health care system and building needed infrastructure projects.
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.arms race 军备竞赛
The missile-reduction treaty makes sweeping cuts, but the arms race isn't over by a long shot.
2.international sanctions 国际制裁
International sanctions were beginning to take effect.
3.health care 医疗保健
He's already solicited their support on health care reform.
4.sit down 坐下
Hughes beckoned him to sit down on a sofa.
5.He said, "Some of the things that Putin said today in Moscow are frightening, because they suggest advancements by the Russians when it comes to lethal technology."
when it comes to 提及
When it comes to photography, I'm not an adept.
They are inexperienced when it comes to decorating.
6.The claims by the Russian leader raise concerns that a new arms race could be taking place.
taking place 发生；举行
History is taking place before your very eyes.
The conversation centred on the radical changes taking place in russia.
俄罗斯总统普京（Vladimir Putin）表示，俄罗斯开发出了西方国防体系无法拦截的新型核武器 。
普京在莫斯科向俄罗斯官员和议员们发表了国情咨文 。这次讲话距俄罗斯3月18日的总统选举只有不到几周时间 。普京正在寻求其第四次总统任期 。
普京表示，俄罗斯军方测试了一批旨在抵御西方国防体系的新型战略武器 。普京在大屏幕上用视频介绍了提及的一些武器 。
另一种武器是可在海底深潜的核动力水下无人机 。普京称，该装置能瞄准航空母舰，以比其他军舰快10倍的速度进行躲避、拦截 。
普京提到的其它武器系统还包括洲际弹道导弹，能够以20倍音速飞行 。普京表示，俄罗斯已部署Kinzhal超音速空射导弹，其射程为2千公里 。
北卡罗来纳州共和党参议员汤姆·蒂利斯（Thom Tillis）对美国之音表示：“在我看来，普京与凶手或犯罪分子无异 。当这种人说话时，十有八九是在撒谎，但听者可不能掉以轻心 。”
马里兰州民主党参议员本·卡丁（Ben Cardin）也表示，“有些国家炫耀军事能力，原因是他们深谙自己的军事能力远远低于他们宣扬的水平 。”
迪克·德宾（Dick Durbin）是参议院民主党领导人 。他说：“今天，普京在莫斯科发表的一些内容令人恐惧，他们展示了俄罗斯在杀伤类武器方面所取得的突破 。”德宾继续说，他希望“与五角大楼和情报界专家进行商议，分析这只是一种威吓，还是一种严重威胁 。”
普京还立下了将俄罗斯贫困人口减半的目标 。据政府数据显示，近14%的俄罗斯人生活在贫困线以下，2017年俄罗斯的实际收入连续第四年出现下滑 。贫困率较2010年高出了近4个百分点 。
俄罗斯在经济方面举步维艰，这是由于2014年，俄罗斯占领克里米亚半岛遭到国际制裁，同时石油价格低迷 。普京呼吁改善国家的医疗保健体系，建设必要的基础设施项目 。