Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of shelling in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.


  • The U.S. was estimated to have only 3,708 nuclear warheads in its stockpile as of 2022
  • Russia is also believed to have 5,977 nuclear warheads in its inventory
  • Russia's inventory includes more than 4,400 deployed and nondeployed strategic warheads

Russia has more nuclear warheads currently in stockpile than the United States, according to data.

As of last year, Russia had an estimated 4,477 nuclear weapons in its stockpile compared to America's 3,708, according to a report from Our World In Data. The figures also accounted for nuclear warheads assigned to military forces but excluded retired warheads that are set to be dismantled.

In total, Russia's inventories are estimated to have a total of 5,977 nuclear warheads. The total includes 1,588 deployed strategic warheads, 2,889 nondeployed warheads and 1,500 retired warheads, the report said.

In comparison, the U.S. has a total of 5,428 nuclear warheads in its inventory, including 1,644 deployed strategic warheads, 100 deployed nonstrategic warheads, 1,964 nondeployed warheads and 1,720 retired warheads.

It is important to note that the numbers are not actual figures but estimates made "based on publicly available information, historical records and occasional leaks."

The report comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. He said the move was triggered by the United Kingdom's decision to give armor-piercing ammunition containing depleted uranium to Ukraine.

Compared to other nuclear weapons, tactical nuclear warheads are intended for destroying enemy troops and weapons in combat zones. They also have a shorter range and a much lower yield than nuclear warheads fitted to long-range missiles, which are capable of destroying an entire city.

Putin's announcement prompted Ukraine to demand a meeting with the UN Security Council, calling Russia's intentions to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus "another provocative step" that "undermines the principles of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," as per a statement posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, as translated via Google Translate.

Mariana Budjeryn, a senior research associate at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center, said Russia seeks to keep the West worrying about a potential nuclear escalation.

"The announcement of Russia's decision to deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus is the continuation of Russia's tactic to use nuclear saber-rattling to induce nuclear anxieties in the West," Budjeryn told independent online newspaper The Insider.

It is unclear how many nuclear warheads Putin plans to keep in Belarus. The storage facility that will be holding the warheads is expected to be finished by July.

The military stalemate in Ukraine has heightened fears Russia might resort to using its nuclear arsenal