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Putin launches construction of new warships amid tensions

Russian President Vladimir Putin launches the construction of new nuclear submarines and other warships, part of a sweeping military modernization effort amid tensions with the West.

Speaking in a video call, Putin gives orders for two nuclear submarines armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles along with two diesel-powered submarines and two corvettes at shipyards in Severodvinsk, St. Petersburg and Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

“We will continue to boost the potential of the Russian navy, develop its bases and infrastructure, arm it with state-of-the-art weapons,” Putin says. “A strong and sovereign Russia needs a powerful and well-balanced navy.”

Illustrative: The Russian nuclear submarine Dmitry Donskoy moored near Kronstadt, Russia, July 29, 2017. (Elena Ignatyeva/AP)

The Kremlin has made military modernization a top priority as relations with the West have plunged to post-Cold War lows after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. Moscow has sought to reestablish a regular naval presence in parts of the world that the Soviet Union had during the Cold War.

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