FULL ANALYSIS HERE In a lengthy and fiery speech on February 21, 2023, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of Russia’s participation in the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). The announcement came after months of Russian delays and cancellations, to include inspections and consultative meetings. It also followed an announcement on January 31, 2023, by the U.S. State Department that Russia was in violation of New START. The suspension of New START further contributes to the demise of arms control, and it also eliminates one of the few remaining forums for dialogue between Moscow and Washington at a time of rising nuclear risks. Suspending New START is just the latest in a larger trend of Russia’s increasing reliance on nuclear weapons. Vladimir Putin is telling the world who he is. He is a nuclear bully, attempting to use nuclear weapons to deter conventional Western support and intervention in Ukraine. He is intentionally increasing nuclear risks, believing that NATO members have a lower risk tolerance than Moscow and do not care enough about the fate of Ukraine to escalate their involvement and the war. Regardless, these risks are real and growing, especially in the absence of crisis communication channels. Heather Williams is director of the Project on Nuclear Issues and senior fellow with the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.