Putin Evokes the Race for Atomic Weapons in Call to Advance Quantum Technologies 



Putin Doubles Down on Quantum

Speaking at the Future Technologies Forum in Moscow last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared Russia’s race to produce an atomic bomb in the 1940s with today’s efforts to develop quantum technologies. Like the race for the atomic bomb, Russia finds itself falling behind other countries’ advancements in quantum. 

His comments suggest that the Kremlin will likely double down on efforts to recruit outside experts. Putin addressed the need for “heroes”—like those who worked on the atomic project—to advance the country’s computing and engineering technologies. 

Putin specifically lauded Lavrenty Beria, who led the Soviet atomic project and served as the Chief of the Soviet Union’s secret police. 

A Push for More Foreign Recruitment

Putin also discussed supporting the work of “compatriots” and foreign researchers through funding programs like the Mega-Grant. “Compatriot” typically refers to individuals outside of Russia who have historical, cultural, linguistic, or ideological ties to the country. The Mega-Grant Program is likely linked to the country’s intelligence services and actively targets foreign researchers and scientists to further Moscow’s strategic economic statecraft goals. 

One such “compatriot” was Klaus Fuchs, the Manhattan Project scientist convicted of passing secrets to the Soviets while working at Los Alamos between 1944 and 1949. Fuchs, a Communist Party member who believed that the Soviet Union had the right to know about the atomic bomb development, may have enabled the Soviets to construct their own bomb one to two years earlier than the US expected. 

At the forum, Putin discussed his intent to expand the Mega-Grant Program to help more “compatriots” and foreign researchers come to Russia and work on a permanent basis. 

Get Critical Intelligence for Your Organization 

As Putin outlines these intentions, organizations and governments should be mindful in protecting quantum IP and technology. As Winston Churchill famously said, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  

Strider offers a suite of products and subject-matter expertise to help your organization stay secure from state-sponsored risk. From supply chain vulnerabilities to IP theft, our open-source intelligence provides the needed insight and context to compete today. Reach out now to book a demo.