On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin to euphoric applause said the country had developed nuclear-capable weapons technology, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that rendered all current defense systems “useless.”

There was little doubt that the animated speech was directed squarely at the United States.

“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country's development ... you have failed to contain Russia," the Russian President said, 17 days before the country’s presidential election where Putin seeks an unprecedented fourth term. Polls in January showed Putin enjoyed an 86 percent approval rating from respondents aged 18 to 24 and similar support among 25- to 39-year-old respondents too, NBC News reported.

The ever-bellicose Putin accused the West of "ignoring us. Nobody listened to us. Well listen to us now." The ICBM is “powerful and modern and defense systems will not be able to withstand it,” the president said. “Missile defenses will be useless against it.”

The two-hour state-of-the-nation speech included a video depicting animated graphics of a missile breaking into many warheads heading toward Florida.

Putin then proceeded to emphasize the Russians had “no plans to be an aggressor."

“We are not going to take anything away from anybody. We have everything we need," Putin said. "Russia’s strong military is a guarantor of peace on our planet."

"Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies … any kind of attack … will be regarded as a nuclear attack against Russia and in response we will take action instantaneously no matter what the consequences are. Nobody should have any doubt about that," he added.

American intelligence analysts weren’t among those who found these “developments” in Russia’s military either shocking or surprising.

A Washington Post report quoted Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White as saying U.S. officials were “not surprised” by Putin’s comments. White also rejected the notion these were moves in response to defensive buildups in the West. “Our missile defense has never been about [Russia],” White said.

While U.S. generals have warned Congress and the Pentagon about developments in Russian missile technology, Brian Murphy and Paul Sonne in the Post article point out with a Russian military budget a fraction of the size of that of the U.S., Russia is nowhere near capable enough to see eye to eye with the United States in an arms race like it had in the past. This, it seems, may have been intended as an impassioned declaration that it sought to keep pace as a nuclear superpower.