President Vladimir Putin says Russia has tested new nuclear weapons, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile and a nuclear-powered underwater drone, that would be immune to enemy intercept.
Speaking in a state-of-the-nation speech Thursday, Putin said that the nuclear-powered cruise missile tested last fall has an unlimited range and high speed and is capable of penetrating any missile defense.
He said the high-speed underwater drone capable of carrying a nuclear warhead could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities.
Putin said that Russia also tested a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sarmat, with a range and number of warheads exceeding its predecessor.
Putin also said that he plans to cut the country's poverty rate in half during his fourth six-year term.
The president, whose approval ratings top 80 percent, is set to easily win the March 18 presidential election against seven other contenders.
"Every person matters to us," the president said, emphasizing his goal of boosting employment.
Putin said 20 million Russians currently live below the official poverty line equivalent to some $180 a month, down from 42 million in 2000. He also touched on improving the country's health care system.
In Thursday's speech before hundreds of top officials and lawmakers, Putin said that Russia needs to make a technological breakthrough to set the foundation for future successful development.
The country should devote 11 trillion roubles ($200 billion) on improving its road system, he added.
"Over the next six years, it is necessary to practically double expenditures on constructing and improving Russia's roads," Putin said.
Roads of declining quality and inadequate width to support modern traffic are often lamented during Putin's annual call-in show, another nationally