I should start counting how many times the media tells about a "start of a new nuclear arms race". The last one, of course, was prompted by the annual TV appearance of President Putin in a question and answer session on October 18, 2007. In what was clearly a prepared statement, the president mentioned "grandiose" strategic forces modernization plans. A closer look, however, shows that there was nothing really new there. Russia has been modernizing every single leg of its strategic triad already, so it is somewhat difficult to come up with something on top of that that would be "grandiose" enough to justify the rhetoric.

I guess what people noticed was Putin's words about "new strategic missile systems" that "go beyond MIRVed Topol-M" (which is the RS-24, of course). Well, as I understand, that's the old idea of building an UR-100N/SS-19-based liquid-propellant missile, which NPO Mashinostroyeniya still hopes to revive. Maybe even with a "maneuverable hypersonic warhead". Hardly qualifies as a new arms race.